Data: Indonesian cash aid isn’t enough to cover monthly expense in pandemic time

Indonesian flag (©Nick Agus Arya)

Indonesian flag (©Nick Agus Arya)

Government’s Cash Transfer Assistance (BLT) of IDR600,000 in the time of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is not enough to cover Indonesian average per capita monthly expenditure. In some provinces, even the money is not enough to cover food consumption expenses per individual per month.

Several policies have been issued by the government of Republic of Indonesia as a stimulus to support the economy and ease people suffering during Covid-19 pandemic. Prior to BLT, the government, through the Social Ministry, distributed staple food packages to 1,2 million poor in DKI Jakarta Province. The IDR300,000-worth package will be distributed twice in a month.

Meanwhile, for those who live outside Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi (Jabodetabek), the government, through the Ministry of Village, Development of Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration, is distributing BLT of IDR600,000 to selected household per month for three consecutive months. They take the budget from Village Fund, a fund previously allocated for village infrastructure development.


IDR 600,000 BLT versus Indonesian average per capita monthly expenditure

Based on Statistics Indonesia (BPS), the Indonesian average per capita monthly expenditure is IDR1,3 million. The amount consists of IDR620,962 for food consumption expenses and IDR729,562 for non-food consumption expenses. 


Lifepal sees that an IDR600,000 per household per month given by the government is not enough to cover all monthly expenses. Even, the amount given is not enough to cover food consumption expenses per individual per month. For families with more than one member, the number won’t be enough. (see chart 1)

We use 2018’s Indonesian average per capita per month expenditure data, because the newest data hasn’t yet to be published. So, it is believed the gap will go even wider if we have the newest one applied for the comparison.

Monthly expenditure in these provinces are far above the BLT amount

In these 20 provinces, the IDR600,000 BLT is not enough to cover monthly food consumption per individual, where DKI Jakarta sits in the top position. In DKI Jakarta, the food consumption per individual per month amounts to IDR847,847.

In Kepulauan Riau Province, it costs each person IDR774,057 while in Bangka Belitung it is IDR757,000. It can be concluded that, based on the monthly expenditure per capita from 2018’s Statistics Indonesia (BPS) data, an IDR600,000 BLT will not cover individual monthly expenditure in those provinces.


For Central Java and Nusa Tenggara Timur Province residents, 600,000 BLT is enough to cover food consumption expenses

Statistics Indonesia (BPS) data shows that there are provinces with food consumption expenses below the IDR600,000 BLT. For Central Java, Gorontalo, West Sulawesi, South East Sulawesi and Nusa Tenggara Timur, IDR600,000 is enough to cover a resident’s monthly food consumption expenses. 


That is because the individual’s monthly food consumption expenses in Central Java is only IDR491,151, in Gorontalo is just IDR501,437, and in West Sulawesi is merely IDR505,350. While, in South East Sulawesi and Nusa Tenggara Timur is just IDR534,142 and IDR542,216 respectively.


Survive in the time of pandemic

Everyone agrees that this fund aid is aimed to ease the burden not to entirely cover all the peoples’ living expenses. People are required to be wiser in their money management so that they can still afford their basic needs in the time of pandemic.

They can do this by controlling their expenses and avoiding using money for secondary needs. For crucial expenses, they can use savings and or pawn valuable assets if needed. Of course, we are hoping the best for those who suffer job cuts, to find the way out to meet their basic needs.

To write this report, the Statistics Indonesia (BPS) 2018’s data of monthly per capita expenditure of each province were compared with the amount of Cash Transfer Assistance (BLT). Read more about the report on Lifepal.

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