SINGAPORE: This year sees a slew of events and projects to mark 200 years since the arrival of Sir Stamford Raffles on Singapore’s shores – and now, commemorations will extend towards helping Singaporeans with specific needs.
To commemorate Singapore’s bicentennial this year, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat on Monday (Feb 18) announced a S$1.1 billion Bicentennial Bonus to be shared with Singaporeans.
Here’s what this bonus includes:
HELP WITH DAILY LIVING EXPENSES FOR THOSE WHO NEED IT
There will be additional payments for lower-income Singaporeans at the end of the year to help them with daily living expenses.
- Up to S$300 in GST Voucher – Cash (Bicentennial Payment)
- A cash Workfare Bicentennial Bonus: Those who receive Workfare Income Supplement payments will get an extra 10 per cent of their payment for work done in 2018, with a minimum payment of S$100.
PERSONAL INCOME TAX REBATE
Also on the table is a tax rebate for income earned in 2018 (Year of Assessment 2019). A personal income tax rebate of 50 per cent of tax payable will be granted to all tax resident individuals – capped at S$200 per taxpayer.
This is estimated to cost about S$280 million.
SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS
Younger Singaporeans have not been forgotten either, with the Government promising additional top-ups to support students’ educations to be made by mid-2019.
Primary and secondary school students will get a S$150 top-up to their Edusave accounts, while Singaporeans aged 17 to 20 will receive up to S$500 in their Post-Secondary Education Accounts.
These top-ups are estimated to cost about S$140 million and to benefit around 570,000 students.
RETIREMENT SAVINGS FOR ELDERLY, ESPECIALLY WOMEN
The Government will also make a one-off CPF top-up of up to S$1,000 for eligible Singaporeans aged between 50 and 64 this year. Those eligible must have less than S$60,000 of retirement savings in their CPF accounts.
About 300,000 Singaporeans will benefit from this top-up. Most of these will be women who left the workforce for caregiving roles and so had fewer years to build up their savings.