While we applaud the government’s initiatives to assist the needy and less fortunate, improvements need to be considered as far as BR1M 2.0 is concerned.
The RM3,000, or lower household monthly income criterion to be eligible for the RM500 voucher should be extended by including the demographic and family members profile as well. This is to ensure a fairer and more justifiable income distribution exercise.
First, location is a vital criterion to be included as households earning the same monthly income, say RM3,000 per month, but living in different locations, for example one in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, and another in Tanah Merah, Kelantan, will certainly not be incurring a similar cost of living expenses.
Second, the number of children and/or dependents in the household is another vital factor to be considered. A simple per capita income criterion should be used instead. For example, a family where the parents earn RM5,000 per month with five school-going children will command a simple average income per person of RM715 per month. Whereas another family where the parents earn RM3,000 per month with one school-going child will obtain an average income per person of RM1,000 per month.
As it is, the former family will not be eligible for the RM500 BR1M aid even though their family per capita income is lower than that of the latter. In this example, it seems that the BR1M initiative is not channelled in the right quantum to the more needy when the simple per capita income is taken into consideration.