Not satisfied with one-off aid, group says Budget 2023 has no idea for B40

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 8 — Non-governmental organizations that work with poor communities say the Budget 2023 direct cash aid will help these groups temporarily, but have no detailed plan to help them overcome the poverty trap. Datuk Hartini Zainuddin from the Chow Kit Foundation argued that funds such as RM2,500 under the Malaysian Family Assistance scheme for families with five or more children.

Would be better spent on programs such as workshops to help these communities save and spend wisely. One time payment is one step. Subsidy is great. But how do we stop those needing subsidies in the long run? Where is the master plan to ensure there is a cohesive transition that has increased social mobility?” he added. And what happens after the money runs out? Will another program initiate the transition? I hope it is clearer,” he told Malay Mail when contacted yesterday after the presentation of the Budget in Parliament.

However, Hartini praised the government for allocating funds for mental health for women and disadvantaged communities. He referred to the RM34 million budgeted for the establishment of a National Center of Excellence for Mental Health, and another RM8 million in funding for the One Stop Social Support Center.

However, Hartini questioned how the effectiveness of the announced measures would be monitored, which was also a point raised by Sumitra Visvanathan, executive director of the Women’s Aid Organization. It remains to be seen how lessons learned from previous budget allocations have informed this budget,” said Sumitra.

Many allocations announced last year did not receive sufficient monitoring and evaluation, including the D11 allocation and last year’s allocation towards introducing period products to 130,000 B40 youth to reduce period poverty,” he added. KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 8 — Non-governmental organizations that work with poor communities say the Budget 2023 direct cash aid will help these groups temporarily, but have no detailed plan to help them overcome the poverty trap.

Datuk Hartini Zainuddin from the Chow Kit Foundation argued that funds such as RM2,500 under the Malaysian Family Assistance scheme for families with five or more children, would be better spent on programs such as workshops to help these communities save and spend wisely. One time payment is one step. Subsidy is great. But how do we stop those needing subsidies in the long run?

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Where is the master plan to ensure there is a cohesive transition that has increased social mobility?” he added. And what happens after the money runs out? Will another program initiate the transition? I hope it is clearer,” he told Malay Mail when contacted yesterday after the presentation of the Budget in Parliament.

However, Hartini praised the government for allocating funds for mental health for women and disadvantaged communities. He referred to the RM34 million budgeted for the establishment of a National Center of Excellence for Mental Health, and another RM8 million in funding for the One Stop Social Support Center. However, Hartini questioned how the effectiveness of the announced measures would be monitored, which was also a point raised by Sumitra Visvanathan, executive director of the Women’s Aid Organization.

It remains to be seen how lessons learned from previous budget allocations have informed this budget,” said Sumitra. Many allocations announced last year did not receive sufficient monitoring and evaluation, including the D11 allocation and last year’s allocation towards introducing period products to 130,000 B40 youth to reduce period poverty,” he added.

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