As an aside of Aco and Sjamsu's discussion on cash transfer below, I argued in Kompas a few months ago that the whole debate on fuel subsidy vs. direct subsidy just reminds us on one thing: we don't have a systematic policy to protect the poor. In the artictle, I argued that we must shift our debate from the pros and cons of cash subsidy to providing mechanisms for the poor in managing risk. Hence, the issue is "risk management for the poor."
Note: the Kompas article is in Indonesian. A working paper version (in English) can be downloaded here.