Minister Heng Swee Keat has recently wrapped up his Budget speech for the year at Parliament.
During his two-hour long speech, Mr Heng announced several support packages for different groups of Singaporeans, especially since the economy has been hit hard by the COVID-19 virus outbreak.
Here’s a summary of all the Budget 2020 payouts that was announced today for your easy reference:
S$6 Billion Assurance Package
One of the biggest news today is that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) will remain at 7% in 2021, but will be increased by 2025.
When the government raises the GST, it will offer a S$6 billion package to cushion the impact of the increase for Singaporeans.
Under this Assurance Package, the majority of Singaporean households will receive offsets to cover at least five years’ worth of additional GST expenses incurred.
Lower-income households will receive “much more”, Mr Heng said. Those living in one- to three-room HDB flats will receive offsets equivalent to about 10 years’ worth of additional GST expenses incurred.
Although GST is paid by all in Singapore, including foreigners visiting and working here, the Assurance Package will benefit only Singaporeans.
The package also includes a cash payout ranging from S$700 to S$1,600 over five years for every adult Singaporean.
For instance, a family of four with a combined income of S$6,000 living in a four-room HDB flat can receive in total about S$7,000 in offsets over five years, including about S$4,000 in cash.
This will be on top of the permanent GST Voucher Scheme that is already in place, which defrays GST for lower- to middle-income Singaporeans.
S$1.6 Billion Care And Support Package For Households
During this “period of uncertainty”, Mr Heng announced a S$1.6 billion Care and Support Package for households to help them with expenses.
All Singaporeans aged 21 and above this year will receive a one-off cash payout of S$100, S$200 or S$300, depending on their income.
Cash payouts will also be given to families with children and elderly parents.
Every adult Singaporean with a child aged 20 and below will receive another S$100 cash payout, while Singaporeans aged 50 years and above will receive a S$100 PAssion Card top-up.
All eligible Housing and Development Board (HDB) households will also receive a one-off Goods and Service Tax Voucher (GSTV) – U-Save Special Payment, which will double their annual GSTV – U-Save.
Eligible households with five or more members will receive 2.5 times their regular GSTV – U-Save.
The GSTV – U-Save rebates are given out every three months to help HDB households with their utility bills.
Mr Heng added that the Service and Conservancy Charges Rebates will be extended by another year.
Service and Conservancy Charges are fees payable to the town council each month to cover the cost of maintaining the HDB estate, with rates differing by flat type.
The package also includes Workfare Special Payment, with Singaporeans on Workfare receiving 20 per cent more for work done in 2019 in cash. The minimum payment is S$100.
To help the lower-income group with daily living expenses, needy Singaporeans will receive grocery vouchers of S$100 in 2020 and 2021, to be used at major supermarkets.
Silver Support For The Elderly
The Silver Support Scheme was created to complement the CPF for the elderly and give them more financial security in retirement.
It currently provides cash payouts to the bottom 20% of Singaporeans aged 65 and above, with some support for those slightly above the bottom 20%.
Mr Heng announced that the quarterly cash payouts will be raised by 20%. For individuals living in smaller flats, this means that the cash payouts will increase from $750 to $900 per quarter.
There will also be a new payout tier to provide a smaller payout to seniors whose monthly household incomes per person are above $1,300, but not exceeding $1,800.
Eligible seniors will be notified by the CPF Board and start receiving payouts under the enhanced scheme from December 2020.
About 100,000 more seniors are expected to benefit from the enhanced Silver Support in 2021.
Featured Image Credit: Singapore Guide