As part of social spending allocated within Singapore’s Budget 2019, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat says the Government plans to provide access to opportunities for Singaporeans at all stages of life.
This includes education for children from disadvantaged backgrounds, as well as support for lower-wage workers and older workers in Singapore.
Minister Heng says the Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) scheme, which currently provides cash payouts and CPF top-ups for lower-income workers, will be enhanced.
From January 2020, the qualifying income cap for the scheme will be raised to $2,300 per month (from the previous $2,000 per month), and maximum annual payouts will also be increased by up to $400.
These enhancements will cost an additional $206 million yearly, he says, expecting a total cost of about $1 billion a year, while the WIS scheme will benefit almost 440,000 Singaporeans.
In support of older workers in an ageing society, the Tripartite Workgroup will review policies such as the retirement and re-employment ages, and CPF contribution rates of older workers. Their proposal will be presented later this year.
The Special Employment Credit (SEC) scheme that was introduced in 2011, and the Additional SEC (ASEC) scheme, will be extended for another year till December 31, 2020, Mr Heng says.
These schemes support employers in hiring older Singaporeans, including those who are above the re-employment age.
This extension will cost the Ministry an additional $366 million toward the SEC Fund.