True to its word, the PAP Government announced a new S$1.5 billion support package to help Singaporean households, particularly the lower-income and retirees with no income, with cost of living pressures.
Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong, who announced this new package, repeatedly said in Parliament this year that the Government is monitoring the situation closely and will step in whenever necessary.
As such this new S$1.5 billion support package adds to the support measures announced in Budget 2022, April 2022 and June 2022.
In total, all the measures announced this year will fully cover the increase in cost of living for lower-income households on average and more than half of the increase in cost of living for middle-income households on average this year, said the Ministry of Finance (MOF) in a media release.
Here are the details of the new package.
A special cost-of-living payment of up to S$500 will be given to some 2.5 million eligible adult Singaporeans, or 80 per cent of income earners.
Eligible Singaporeans should have an Assessable Income for Year of Assessment 2022 not more than S$100,000 and should not own more than one property.
This payout will be disbursed in December this year, together with the Assurance Package for GST cash payout announced at Budget 2022, and there’s no need to apply.
More CDC vouchers
An additional $100 CDC Vouchers will be given to every Singaporean household in January 2023, making it a total of S$300 when you include the S$200 CDC Vouchers under the Assurance Package for GST announced at Budget 2022.
The vouchers will be allocated equally for spending at both heartland shops and participating supermarkets and MOF added that the Government is working towards allowing the donation of CDC Vouchers.
Public transport subsidies
As announced previously, an additional subsidy of about S$200 million will be funded by the Government to cover the 10.6 percentage point fare increase that will be carried over to future fare review exercises.
Public transport vouchers
Similarly, 600,000 public transport vouchers worth S$30 each will be distributed to resident households with monthly household income per person of not more than S$1,600.
Each voucher is worth S$30 and can be used to top up fare cards or buy Monthly Travel / Concession Passes.
Ministry of Education’s financial assistance schemes
Income eligibility thresholds criteria for financial assistance schemes will be raised to help defray school expenses.
This will take effect from Jan 1, 2023 for primary, secondary and pre-university students, and from AY2023 for the government bursaries for post-secondary education institutions.
In addition, the bursary quanta for full-time Institute of Technical Education (ITE) students will also be enhanced from AY2023, with those from lower-income households benefitting from the highest increase.
Designed with lower income and retirees in mind
Speaking to the press, DPM Wong said that the package was designed specifically to target the lower income and is not a broad package where it’s the same amount for every Singaporean, which may run the risk of too much stimulus.
“We have designed the package with targeted support so that more will be provided for the lower income and the retirees, who will be disproportionately affected by inflation in the first place,” he said.