Move to cut maid levy for families with disabled


THE Ministry of Community De-velopment, Youth and Sports (MCYS) has begun negotiations with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on lowering foreign domes-tic worker levies for families with disabled  members.

Now, the concession, which lowers the levy from $265 to $170, applies only to families with chil-dren under 12, or with elderly members aged 65 and above.

Ms Denise Phua (Jalan Besar GRC) asked that the concession be extended to families with disabled members between the ages of 12 and 65.

MCYS will also take up Ms Phua’s suggestion to review the norm cost for day activity centres,
which cater to severely disabled adults.

The norm cost is what MCYS estimates to be a reasonable cost of providing a service.
MCYS will build another seven Early Intervention Programme for Infants and Children (Eipic) cen-tres over the next four years to meet growing demand.

These will add to the current stable of 13 and increase the total capacity of Eipic centres from
2,000 places now to 2,700 places by 2015.

Tracing MCYS’ progress over the last five years, Dr Balakrishnan said it has “made significant
strides” in implementing all 31 recommendations in the 2007-2011 Enabling Masterplan for the
disability sector.

These include the setting up of a first-stop information and referral centre for elder care and
disability services, and upgrading all HDB precincts to become barri-er-free by this year.

His ministry is now ready to ac-cede to the United Nations Con-vention on the Rights of Persons
with Disability by next year.

Going forward, the National Council of Social Service will gath-er inputs for the next Enabling
Masterplan 2012-2016.

It will pay attention to early in-tervention, trends on disabilities
linked to learning difficulties, en-hancing adult care services and fa-cilities, and long-term care financ-ing options for the disabled.



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