DPM Lawrence Wong unveiled a string of financial support measures for young parents in the Budget 2023 speech today (Feb 14).
An additional S$3,000 will be disbursed from the Baby Bonus Cash Gift to parents of Singaporean children born from today, regardless of their birth orders in the second half of the year.
Under the scheme, first- and second-time parents will receive cash of between S$1,000 and S$3,000 throughout the first 18 months of their child’s life.
The same disbursement schedule will also apply to parents for their third and subsequent child, except that the lump-sum payments over the first 18 months from birth is a larger quantum.
A smaller amount of S$400 will also be given out every six months, starting when the child is two until he or she turns six-and-a-half-years-old.
By spreading out the cash over a longer period, parents would be able to receive continuous support till their child enters primary school.
The Baby Bonus Support Grant of S$3,000 was initially meant to be a one-off payment for eligible Singaporean children born from Oct 1, 2020 to Sep 30, 2022 during the pandemic, and will now include children born between Oct 1, 2022 and Feb 13, 2023.
In addition to this, the government will also up its grant to the Child Development Account (CDA) from S$3,000 to S$5,000 today. This sum can be used by parents to offset preschool and healthcare expenses.
Parents contributions’ to the account will also be matched by the government at a higher cap of S$4,000 for the first child, and S$7,000 for the second child, marking an increase of S$1,000.
The maximum amount the government will co-match parents’ contribution to the development account for their third and fourth child will remain at S$9,000.
The increased financial support will be paid from early 2024, although it applies to children born from Feb 14.
Depending on the birth order of the child, each of them will get an additional $5,000 or $6,000, with a total of up to S$24,000 in financial support for the first child, and up to S$27,000 for the second.
Meanwhile, the government will also double paid paternity leave from the current two weeks to four weeks from Jan next year, and extend unpaid infant care leave for each parent from six to 12 days annually.
The additional two weeks of paid maternity leave will be implemented on a voluntary basis for now, and employers who are ready to grant this additional leave will be reimbursed by the government to give employers more time to adjust to this new measure.
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