The shape of the world a generation from now will be influenced far more by how we communicate the values of our society to others than by military or diplomatic superiority. William Fulbright, 1964

Monday, October 24, 2005


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On 1 October 2005 the Indonesian government removed some of the subsidies applying to fuel and allocated the money to the poor. A grant of Rp 100,000 (US$ 10) a month for three months is being paid to low-income families to compensate for the increased costs of living following the fuel price rises.

The government estimated that 15.6 million households - or more than 60 million people - are eligible for the grants. Above are the advertised criteria. Successful applicants must:

1) Live in a house of less than 8 square metres per person
2) Have a floor of earth, bamboo or cheap wood
3) Have walls made from bamboo, palm fronds or unplastered poor quality wood
4) Not own personal toilet facilities and have to share with other families
5) Not have access to electricity
6) Use water from a well, the environment, a river or rain
7) Cook using wood, charcoal or kerosene
8) Consume meat, milk and chicken only once a week
9) Buy good clothes only once a year
10) Eat only once or twice a day
11) Not be able to pay for medicines from government clinics
12) Have resources of no more than half a hectare if a farmer, or earn less than Rp 600,000 (US$ 60) a month if a worker
13) Have a household head who hasn’t been to school or beyond primary school
14) Not own goods, vehicles, jewellery or other assets worth more than Rp 500,000 (US$ 50)


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