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More rebates for households, as water, S&CC costs are set to rise

SINGAPORE — With basic costs of living in the form of water and service and conservancy charges (S&CC) set to increase, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced measures to support households in his Budget 2017 speech on Monday (Feb 20).

SINGAPORE — With basic costs of living in the form of water and service and conservancy charges (S&CC) set to increase, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced measures to support households in his Budget 2017 speech on Monday (Feb 20).

The GST Voucher-U-Save rebate for eligible Housing and Development Board (HDB) households will be increased by S$40 to S$120, depending on flat type. From S$180 to S$260 in rebates received by owners of one-room to executive flats now, the rebates will increase to between S$220 and S$380 from July.

The new annual rebates for three-, four- and five-room flats will be S$340, S$300 and S$260, respectively. The increase will be permanent and cost the Government an extra S$71 million a year.

The higher U-Save rebates mean that three-quarters of all HDB households will see an average increase of less than S$12 in monthly water expenses. About 880,000 households will benefit, and one- to two-room flat households will not see any increase, said Mr Heng.

For lower-income households, a one-off GST Voucher special cash payment of up to S$200 will be given, and more than 1.3 million Singaporeans will benefit. The one-off payment means that adult Singaporeans with assessable income of S$28,000 and below in the 2016 Year of Assessment will get S$500 in GST Voucher cash payments this year, if their homes have an annual value of up to S$13,000.

For those with homes of annual value of S$13,001 to S$21,000, with the same assessable income range, the GST Voucher cash payment will be S$250 (including a one-off payment of S$100). The one-off payment will be made in November.

The one-off special payments will cost the Government about S$280 million, said Mr Heng. 

S&CC rebates will also be raised by 0.5 month for the 2017 financial year. This means a total of 1.5 to 3.5 months’ worth of rebates to about 880,000 HDB households, said Mr Heng. This will cost the Government S$120 million.

Last week, the 15 town councils run by the People’s Action Party announced that they will raise S&CC by S$1 to S$17 per month by June next year.

 

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