SINGAPORE: Eligible Housing and Development Board (HDB) households will receive a one-off special payment of between S$120 and S$200 this year, as part of a S$900 million Household Support Package for Singaporeans.
Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced on Tuesday (Feb 16) more support for families in Budget 2021 – named the Emerging Stronger Together Budget – as Singapore’s economic situation remained “uncertain” amid its worst recession since independence.
The Household Support Package includes the extension of a service and conservancy charges rebate, a S$200 top-up in the relevant education account for each child under 21 and S$100 worth of Community Development Council (CDC) vouchers for all Singaporean households.
Lower- and middle-income Singaporeans will also receive an additional one-off cash payment of S$200 under the GST Voucher scheme.
This will be the country’s sixth Budget aimed at mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, the Government pushed out five Budgets, which brought “immediate relief and support” for families and workers, said Mr Heng, who is also Minister for Finance.
READ: Budget 2021: Jobs Support Scheme extended for worst-hit sectors as part of S$11 billion package
Lower-income workers and families received more support through the Workfare Special Payment, Grocery Vouchers and additional GST Voucher - U-Save. Last year, eligible households received at least double their annual GST Voucher - U-Save.
MORE SUPPORT FOR FAMILIES IN 2021
The one-off GST Voucher - U-Save Special Payment will benefit about 950,000 Singaporean households this year.
The payment of between S$120 and S$200 in total – amounting to an additional 50 per cent of HDB households’ U-Save rebates for one year – will be credited in April and July, together with the regular U-Save rebates.
The GST Voucher - U-Save rebates are given out every three months to help HDB households with their utility bills.
In addition, the service and conservancy charges rebate will be extended for another year, said Mr Heng in his Budget speech.
The rebate will offset between one-and-a-half and three-and-a-half months of the charges, depending on their HDB flat type. Households will receive the rebate over four quarters in April, July, October this year and January next year.
The Government will also give all Singaporean households S$100 worth of CDC vouchers to use at participating heartland shops and hawkers.
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While Singaporeans’ “sense of unity” and “discipline” in observing COVID-19 precautionary measures have helped the country combat the pandemic, local merchants and hawkers have been “quite affected” by these measures, said Mr Heng.
“I hope that this new tranche of vouchers can bring more businesses to our hawkers and heartland shops,” he said, adding that the Government will provide an additional S$150 million grant to the CDC for this.
For each Singaporean child below 21 years of age, the Government will provide an additional top-up of S$200 through their Child Development Account, Edusave Account or Post-Secondary Education Account. This will be on top of the annual Edusave top-up for primary and secondary school students.
This is to support parents as they “invest in their children’s future”, said the Deputy Prime Minister.
For lower- and middle-income Singaporeans who qualify for the GST Voucher - Cash, they will receive another S$200 in June. The GST Voucher - Cash is paid every August.
In total, 1.4 million Singaporeans will receive up to S$500 in GST Voucher - Cash and Cash Special Payment this year.