Second tranche of Budget 2020 grocery vouchers to be home-delivered to 150,000 Singaporeans
SINGAPORE: The second disbursement of Budget 2020 grocery vouchers will be delivered to the homes of 150,000 eligible recipients, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) announced on Sunday (Dec 6).
The ministry said it has arranged with Singapore Post for two deliveries to those eligible for the vouchers.
"We will make up to two home deliveries to recipients. The first delivery will be done over four Saturdays, from Dec 12, 2020 to Jan 2, 2021, by postal code," said MOF.
"If there is no one at home to receive the vouchers on the first delivery, we will make a second delivery between the following Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays)."
MOF added: "If the vouchers are not delivered after both attempts, we will leave a delivery notification card for recipients to collect their grocery vouchers at a specified post office within 10 working days."
Announced at the Feb 18 Budget, the grocery vouchers aim to "help less well-off Singaporeans with their household expenses during this period of extraordinary economic uncertainty", said MOF.
Singaporeans aged 21 and above this year who live in 1- and 2-room HDB flats, and do not own more than one property, are eligible for these vouchers.
Each eligible recipient gets S$300 worth of grocery vouchers in 2020 - S$150 each in October and end-2020 - and a further S$100 in October 2021. They will be allotted the grocery vouchers automatically, and will receive their vouchers individually.
READ: Man arrested for allegedly stealing Budget 2020 grocery vouchers from letterboxes at Marine Terrace
SPATE OF THEFTS OF BUDGET 2020 GROCERY VOUCHERS
The new delivery method, said MOF, took into account feedback and learning points from the October disbursement.
"It tries to better balance safety, security and convenience to recipients," said the ministry.
The first batch of vouchers, each worth S$150, was mailed out in October to the 150,000 Singaporeans via tracked registered mail. But there was a spate of arrests after the theft of some of these vouchers from letterboxes at HDB blocks across Singapore.
Last month, Second Minister for Finance Indranee Rajah told Parliament that less than 0.2 per cent, or 229 sets, of Budget 2020 grocery vouchers that were mailed out were reported stolen as of Oct 28.
Ms Indranee said the “vast majority” of the grocery vouchers reached their intended recipients “smoothly”.
Based on investigations by the Singapore Police Force, the thefts “appear to be opportunistic and the cases are not linked”, she added, noting that the letterboxes were left unlocked in some cases.
On Sunday, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said he hoped the second tranche of vouchers would provide a "additional assistance" during this "challenging period".
“During this challenging period, we know that household expenses may be weighing on the minds of less well-off families among us," he said.
"We had earlier disbursed the first tranche of the grocery vouchers in October which helped to defray the recipients’ household expenses. I hope that the second round of vouchers will provide additional assistance.”
The Budget 2020 grocery vouchers can be used at the following participating supermarkets: FairPrice, Giant, Prime and Sheng Siong.