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Budget 2022: Charities to get top-ups, dollar-for-dollar matching extended

Budget 2022: Charities to get top-ups, dollar-for-dollar matching extended

East Youths is a volunteer-run organisation that serves the elderly and youths from less privileged backgrounds. (File photo: East Youths)

SINGAPORE: Charities across sectors will get top-ups and extended support as part of Budget 2022, announced Finance Minister Lawrence Wong on Friday (Feb 18). 

Speaking during his Budget speech in Parliament, he noted that throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an “outpouring” of generosity, kindness and support from Singaporeans. 

Donations received by online donation platform Giving.sg increased by three times to about S$100 million last year, he noted. 

“The community plays a critical role in building a caring and inclusive home,” he added. 

“I will build on this momentum to strengthen the culture of giving in our society.” 

To provide more support for the charity sector and encourage giving, the Government will provide a top-up of S$100 million and extend its support for the Tote Board’s Enhanced Fund-Raising Programme for three years until the end of the 2024 financial year, said Mr Wong. 

“Charities can apply to receive dollar-for-dolllar matching for eligible donations, up to a cap of S$250,000 per charity every year,” he added. 

This applies to donations raised during fund-raising events, or on approved digital platforms like Giving.sg, said the Ministry of Finance (MOF). 

The Charities Capability Fund will also get a top-up of S$26 million for five years, said Mr Wong. 

This fund provides support to strengthen the governance and management capabilities of charities, providing grants on training, consultancy, shared services, info-communications technology and collaboration. 

“This will help to nurture a more productive and innovative charity sector and enable them to do more for the community,” said Mr Wong. 

The Government will also continue to support the arts and sports sectors, said the Finance Minister. 

“The arts and sports provide meaningful outlets for self-expression and discovery. They help to strengthen our shared culture, our sense of identity and they help unite us as one people,” he added. 

Noting Singapore’s performance at the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in 2021, Mr Wong announced that the One Team Singapore Fund will be extended for another five years. 

The fund provides dollar-for-dollar matching for donations to rally support for Team Singapore athletes. 

The Government will also provide a top-up of S$150 million to the Cultural Matching Fund for three years, said the Finance Minister. This fund provides dollar-for-dollar matching for donations made to arts and heritage charities. 

ENABLING MASTERPLAN

To further support people with disabilities, Singapore will launch the Enabling Masterplan 2030 later this year to strengthen support in areas like employment, lifelong learning and respite care, announced Mr Wong. 

In the last decade, Singapore has made progress in ensuring that people with disabilities lead “dignified lives” and are “empowered to fulfill their potential” across different stages of life, he said in his speech. 

“We supported them through their early and schooling years with early intervention programmes and special education schools. We built inclusive playgrounds across the island so that children with special needs can play with their peers,” said Mr Wong. 

Through SG Enable, the employment of people with disabilities has also increased, and workplaces have been made “more inclusive” to cater to their needs, he added. 

“We will continually review every aspect of our social policies to see what needs to be further adjusted and improved,” said Mr Wong. 

“This is a major multi-year agenda to strengthen our solidarity with one another, as we prepare Singapore for the next bound.” 

Source: CNA/hw

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