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Budget 2020: S$100-S$300 cash for S’poreans aged 21 and older to ride out economic slowdown, Covid-19 crisis

SINGAPORE — Singaporeans aged 21 and above this year will receive a one-time cash payout of between S$100 and S$300 based on their incomes, as the Government seeks to tide citizens over an economic slowdown and the Covid-19 outbreak.

The cash will be disbursed in August and September 2020 through fund transfer service PayNow or by cheque for users who do not use PayNow.

The cash will be disbursed in August and September 2020 through fund transfer service PayNow or by cheque for users who do not use PayNow.

SINGAPORE — Singaporeans aged 21 and above this year will receive a one-time cash payout of between S$100 and S$300 based on their incomes, as the Government seeks to tide citizens over an economic slowdown and the Covid-19 outbreak.

The cash will be disbursed through fund transfer service PayNow in August. For those without PayNow, it will be sent to their bank accounts in September, if they had given the authorities their account information to receive government payouts. Otherwise, they will receive the sum by cheque.

Citizens will be told of their eligibility by August.

The cash payout is part of a S$1.6 billion “care and support” package unveiled by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in his Budget statement on Tuesday (Feb 18).

Lower-income Singaporeans will receive more cash. 

Those who earned up to S$28,000 of assessable income for the 2019 year of assessment will receive S$300. Those who received between S$28,001 and S$100,000 in wages will get S$200. Those on more than S$100,000 will receive a S$100 payout.

Singaporeans who own more than one property will get S$100, irrespective of income.

Parents of children aged 20 and below will each get an extra S$100 in cash regardless of the number of children.

Mr Heng said the Government is mindful that many families are facing greater pressures as Singapore is convulsed by an economic slowdown and uncertainties from the outbreak of Covid-19. People often tell him and Members of Parliament on their walkabouts that they are worried about job security and rising expenditures, he added.

So far, the virus has sickened 81 people in Singapore.

Here are the other items in the support package: 

PASSION CARD TOP-UPS

All Singaporeans who are 50 and older, including members of the Pioneer and Merdeka generations, will receive a S$100 top-up to their PAssion cards in May. PAssion cards are issued by the People’s Association, and offer various promotions and benefits.

Recipients of the top-up may use the money to pay for products and services such as groceries, activities and facilities at community clubs.

Those without a PAssion card can get one for free to receive the S$100 top-up.

GROCERY VOUCHERS FOR NEEDY SINGAPOREANS

To help needy Singaporeans, Mr Heng said that the Government will provide them with S$100 grocery vouchers both this year and next.

These vouchers are for Singaporeans aged 21 and older who live in one- and two-room Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats and do not own more than one property. They can be used in major supermarkets. So far, supermarket chains NTUC FairPrice, Giant and Sheng Siong are on the scheme.

Mr Heng said: “This directly helps needy households with one of their major cost-of-living items — food.” 

MORE U-SAVE REBATES

The Government will double the amount of Utilities-Save (U-Save) rebates, which help households in HDB flats with part of their utilities bills.

U-Save is one of three components of the permanent Goods and Services Tax (GST) Voucher scheme, introduced in 2012 to help lower-income Singaporeans.

Eligible households will receive the higher U-Save rebates through a one-off special payment over two quarters in April and July. Those with five or more members will get an extra rebate in October this year and January next year, thereby getting 2.5 times the regular rebates.

Mr Heng said that this move would help families free up cash for other household expenses.

WORKFARE SPECIAL PAYMENT FOR LOWER-WAGE WORKERS

To help lower-wage workers with their everyday expenses, Singaporeans on the Workfare Income Supplement scheme — which supplements workers’ income through cash payments and Central Provident Fund savings contributions — will receive 20 per cent more for work done last year, with a minimum S$100 cash payment.

This special payment, which is to be disbursed in November, will apply to employees and the self-employed.

For instance, employees aged 45 to 54 will get S$100 to S$440, and those between 55 and 59 will receive S$100 to S$580.

SERVICE & CONSERVANCY CHARGES REBATE

Extending the rebate on service and conservancy charges for another year, Mr Heng said that eligible households will get rebates to offset up to three-and-a-half months of these fees in the 2020 financial year.

Those in one- and two-room flats will get rebates offsetting three-and-a-half months of service and conservancy charges. At the other end, those in executive and multi-generation flats will receive rebates on one-and-a-half months of these charges. 

Eligible households will receive the rebate over four quarters in April, July and October this year, and January next year.

GRANTS FOR SELF-HELP GROUPS AND CDCs

Mr Heng announced that self-help groups, which work with the community to help needy families and children, will be given a S$10 million grant over two years, so that they may help more families.

There are four self-help groups in Singapore: The Chinese Development Assistance Council, Eurasian Association, Singapore Indian Development Association, and Yayasan Mendaki.

In addition, Community Development Councils, which help vulnerable groups in the community, will receive S$20 million, Mr Heng said. This will help the councils to meet the needs of residents better through their initiatives.

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Budget 2020 SG Budget 2020 Covid-19 PayNow payout cash government

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