Friday, July 5, 2019

Income Mobility and Needs-Based Targeting

So much for writing regularly again. No sooner did I commit to it, I got loaded with a whole load of extra responsibilities. As a result, the last 2-3 months have been a blur, and I only now feel like I can sit down and reflect a little. That and because I have something to say.

There's a very quiet public policy debate going on about the extent of social assistance the public sector should provide. The overwhelming majority, in part driven by distaste of the policies of the previous BN government, is to roll back cash transfers and institute tighter targeting of benefits, with a particular focus on the poor. My view on this is:

  1. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water; and
  2. Targeting the poor suffers the same problems as targeting any income-based subset of the population (like the B40)