Budget 2021: B40 families grateful for additional financial assistance

Allowances for children from B40 families have been increased in the Budget. Photo: Unicef

Families in the B40 bracket are grateful for the additional financial provisions provided in Budget 2021, which was tabled today.

Lorry driver A. Maniam, 53, and housewife Rathiga Balamurugan, 46, from Kuala Lumpur, are happy that the Budget has taken consideration of the B40 community’s needs. The couple have five children, aged 15 to 25, two who are still in (secondary) school and one in college. Their two older children are working but one of them lost their job during the MCO.

“We’re grateful for the additional financial assistance because our three younger children are still schooling and there are many expenses,” said Maniam. “The allowances for our two older working-age children is also helpful as things are so uncertain now,” he added.

Under the Budget, singles who earn less than RM2,500 and are aged 21 and above, will receive financial assistance of RM350.

Mohd Farmi Mohd Faizal, 40, and Fadilah Ismail, 38, from Selangor, have five school-aged children from nine to 17, and feel that the financial assistance is helpful.

“We’re grateful for the increase in financial assistance for our five children. It’s definitely helpful and much needed, especially in a time such as this,” said Mohd Farmi.

B40 families are grateful for the additional allowances provided in the Budget. Photo: UnicefB40 families are grateful for the additional allowances provided in the Budget. Photo: UnicefIn the Budget, allowances for children from poor families has been increased from RM100 per child, for a maximum of RM450 per family, to RM150 per child aged seven to 18, or RM200 per child aged six and below, for a maximum of RM1,000 per family.

Allowances (Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat) are also provided for households that earn between RM2,501 to RM4,000. For households with one child, RM800 is provided, and for those with two or more children, RM1,200 is provided.

The couple run a small food stall which was closed during the movement control order. They reopened during the recovery and conditional MCO, but business has been impacted.

“There are so many (Covid-19) cases now, that people are opting to prepare their own food at home instead of eating out or having takeaways. Sometimes, we’re also worried about opening the stall,” added Fadilah.

For a family of eight (Mohd Farmi’s 60-year-old mother lives with them), the couple said that the financial assistance will definitely come in handy.

“The additional allowance for the elderly is also extremely helpful for us,” Mohd Farmi says.

Under the Budget, allowances for senior citizens, disabled persons, and patients suffering from chronic diseases, has been increased from RM350 to RM500.

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