How S’poreans will benefit from Budget 2022


Finance Minister Lawrence Wong delivered the Budget 2022 statement today (Feb 18).

He opened by saying that Singapore’s economy has rebounded strongly from its worst recession since independence, with unemployment rate coming down to 3.2 per cent, which is close to pre-Covid levels, while median income of full-time employed residents grew by around 1 per cent in real terms.

Here are some of the measures announced by Minister Wong and how they will benefit Singaporeans.

For all Singaporeans

A Household Support Package, costing about S$560 million, will provide support to all Singaporeans to help with utility bills, our children’s education and daily essential expenses.

It will consist of:

  • Double the GST Voucher-U-Save rebates in Apr, July and Oct 2022. This for all eligible HDB households.
  • Additional S$200 top-up per child to the Child Development Account, Edusave Account or Post-Secondary Education Account. This is all for families with Singaporean children below 21.
  • S$100 worth of Community Development Council (CDC) vouchers. This is for all Singaporean households.

To help cushion the GST hike that will happen in two phases (8 per cent in 2023 and 9 per cent in 2024), the Assurance Package will be topped up with an additional S$640 million, making it S$6.6 billion.

The payouts include:

  • Cash of S$700 to S$1,600. This is for every Singaporean aged 21 and above over next five years.
  • Additional U-Save rebates of S$330 to S$570. This is for eligible HDB households over next four years.
  • GST voucher (Seniors’ Bonus) of S$600 to S$900 cash payout. This is for eligible seniors aged 55 and above over next three years.
  • MediSave top-ups of S$450. This is for Singaporean children aged 20 and below and seniors agesd 55 and above.
  • CDC vouchers worth S$400 in total spread across two years (S$200 in 2023 and S$200 in 2024). This is for all Singaporean households.
  • Increase Assessable Income threshold for GSTV — Cash from $28,000 to $34,000, benefitting more Singaporeans.
  • Increase in GSTV cash payouts.

For workers working in affected sectors

The S$500 million Jobs and Business Support Package will ensure workers from struggling industries such as retail, food and beverages and tourism stay employed.

For instance:

  • Small and medium-sized enterprises will receive a payout of S$1,000 per employee, capped at S$10,000 per company.
  • Jobs Growth Incentive, which incentivise employers to hire local workers, will be extended to Sep 2022. This incentive will cover workers who face greater difficulty finding jobs such as mature workers, people with disabilities and ex-offenders.
  • Covid-19 Recovery Grant, for workers who continue to face income loss due to Covid-19, will be extended to the end of the year.
  • Temporary Bridging Loan Programme and the enhanced Trade Loan Scheme will be extended to Sep 2022 to help companies counter cashflow problems.

For lower-wage workers

A Progressive Wage Credit Scheme (PWCS) will be introduced to co-fund increments for lower-wage workers from 2022 till 2026.

  • Co-funding will be set at 50 per cent for first two years for workers earning up to S$2,500; 30 per cent the following two years; and finally 15 per cent in 2026.
  • For workers earning above S$2,500 to S$3,000 will also receive support but at lower co-funding ratio.
  • The Progressive Wage Model (PWM) will also be extended to sectors such as retail, food services and waste management; and to in-house cleaners, security officers, landscape workers, administrators and drivers across all sectors.
  • Companies, who hire foreign workers, must pay all local employees with the local qualifying salary – – at S1,400 per month.
  • Workfare Income Supplement’s qualifying income cap will be raised from S$2,300 to S$2,500 per month from Jan 1, 2023.
  • Workfare will be extended to younger workers (30 to 34) with maximum annual payout of S$2,100; workers aged 35 to 44, maximum annual payout will be raised to S$3,000; workers aged 45 to 59, maximum annual payout will be raised to S$3,600; workers 60 and above, maximum annual payout will be raised to S$4,200.
  • People with disabilities will also get maximum annual payout of S$4,200, regardless of age.

For older workers

  • Employees’ (aged 55 to 70) CPF contribution rates will see a total increase of 3 to 4 percentage points over the next two years.

For people with disabilities

  • Enabling Masterplan 2030 will be introduced later this year. This will help people with disabilities in areas such as employment, lifelong learning and respite care.

For mid-career workers

  • The SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programme — Company Attachment will be made permanent with full-time attachments and training allowances.
  • The New SkillsFuture Career Transition Programme will provide high-quality, industry-oriented training courses for jobseekers.

Cover photo credit: MCI youtube and Jiachen Lin on Unsplash