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Budget 2022: Assurance Package to offset GST hike increased to S$6.6 billion, with cash payouts for all S'porean adults

SINGAPORE — All Singaporeans aged 21 and above will receive cash payouts of up to S$1,600, which will be distributed over the next five years, to help them deal with the impending increase in the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

The offsets from the Assurance Package will cover up to five years’ worth of added Goods and Services Tax expense for most Singaporeans, Finance Minister Lawrence Wong said.
The offsets from the Assurance Package will cover up to five years’ worth of added Goods and Services Tax expense for most Singaporeans, Finance Minister Lawrence Wong said.
  • All adult Singaporeans can expect cash payouts of up to S$1,600 over the next five years
  • Lower-income seniors are also eligible for extra payments totalling up to S$900
  • These are part of a S$640 million enhancement to the Assurance Package launched to cushion the hike in the Goods and Services Tax
  • The package includes more U-Save rebates, MediSave top-ups, CDC Vouchers and community grants 

SINGAPORE — All Singaporeans aged 21 and above will receive cash payouts of up to S$1,600, which will be distributed over the next five years, to help them deal with the impending increase in the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Finance Minister Lawrence Wong said on Friday (Feb 18) that these payouts are part of a S$640 million enhancement to the Assurance Package, now worth S$6.6 billion, which was first announced in 2020 to cushion the impact of the GST hike.

Earlier in his Budget speech delivered in Parliament, Mr Wong announced a two-step hike in the GST, starting with an increase from 7 per cent to 8 per cent with effect from January next year. The tax will go up to 9 per cent from January 2024.

Besides direct handouts in terms of cash and vouchers, the enhanced Assurance Package will provide more funding to Citizens’ Consultative Committees (CCCs) and self-help groups.

The CCCs, which come under the purview of the People’s Association, oversee assistance programmes and lead grassroots organisations in Singapore.

Mr Wong said: “For the majority of Singaporean households, the offsets from the Assurance Package will cover at least five years of additional GST expenses.

“For lower-income households, they will receive much more – with offsets covering about 10 years’ worth of additional GST expense.”

The following is a summary of the additional support to be provided via the S$640 million enhancement to the Assurance Package.

1. Cash payouts for all Singaporeans

All adult Singaporeans will receive cash payouts over the next five years, from December 2022 to 2026.

The total amount they will receive will range from S$700 to S$1,600, depending on income and property ownership.

For example, those earning an assessable income of S$34,000 or less a year and who own one or no property, are eligible to receive between S$200 to S$400 yearly, amounting to S$1,600.

Those earning more than S$100,000 a year will receive smaller amounts of between S$100 and S$200 a year, totalling S$700. A similar amount will be given to individuals who own more than one property, regardless of their income level.

About 2.8 million adult Singaporeans are expected to benefit from this.

2. GST Voucher - Cash (Seniors’ Bonus)

More cash bonuses totalling between S$600 and S$900 will be disbursed to lower-income senior citizens over three years from 2023 to 2025, through a GST Voucher – Cash (Seniors’ bonus) scheme.

About 850,000 such seniors with annual assessable income of S$34,000 and below are expected to receive the bonuses.

For those whose homes have an annual value of S$13,000 and below, they will receive S$250 (for those aged 55 to 64 years) or S$300 (for those aged 65 and up) a year until 2025. 

Seniors whose homes are valued above SS$13,000 and below S$21,000 yearly will receive an annual payout of S$200 regardless of their age.

3. GST Voucher – U-Save

Eligible HDB households will receive more U-Save rebate vouchers from January 2023 to 2026, on top of the rebates they now get under the GST Voucher scheme.

The total amount to be disbursed over the four-year period to each household ranges from S$570 for households living in one-room and two-room flats to S$330 for those living in executive or multi-generation flats.

About 950,000 Singaporean households are expected to receive these.

4. MediSave top-ups

Two million Singaporeans will receive a top-up of S$150 annually to their Central Provident Fund MediSave accounts from 2023 to 2025.

These top-ups will be given to Singaporeans ages 20 and below, as well as those 55 and above.

5. CDC Vouchers scheme

Community Development Council (CDC) Vouchers will be disbursed to all Singaporean households in 2023 and 2024. Worth S$200 for each disbursement, these vouchers can be used at participating shops, hawker centres and major supermarkets in the heartlands.

6. CCC ComCare Fund top-up, grants for self-help groups

The CCC ComCare Fund will receive a S$5 million top-up over five years. These funds will benefit families with urgent needs who approach their respective CCCs.

In addition, a S$12 million grant will be disbursed over four years to the four community self-help groups, namely, the Chinese Development Assistance Council, Eurasian Association, Yayasan Mendaki and the Singapore Indian Development Association.
 

Related topics

Budget 2022 GST CDC Voucher Scheme MediSave ComCare Assurance Package

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