Despite a slight deficit of S$2.2 billion for FY2022 mentioned at Budget 2023, there is notable support for households, parents, and seniors. We take a quick look at the upcoming changes
Gloomy outlook alert - Singapore’s headline inflation is expected to remain high, at least for the first half of 2023.
Under such inflationary pressures, the government has set aside S$1.6b under the Assurance Package for household support. This brings the total package to S$9.6b.
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1. More permanent Goods & Services Tax Voucher (GSTV)
When the GSTV scheme was introduced in 2012, the intent was to offset the impact of GST on lower- and middle-income Singaporean households with their expenses.
This support is in four areas - cash for essentials, MediSave for seniors, U-Save for utilities bills; and S&CC Rebate to offset S&CC bills.
Under the scheme, Singaporeans aged 21 and above with annual assessable income of up to S$34,000 are eligible to receive a cash quantum.
For eligible Singaporeans staying in homes (HDB flats and some private properties) with an annual value of S$13,000 or below, the cash payout will increase from S$500 to S$700 in 2023, and to S$850 in 2024.
For those staying in homes with annual value from S$13,000 to S$21,000, the payout will increase from S$250 to S$350 in 2023, and to S$450 next year.
Related to this topic: Singapore Budget 2023: All the CPF-related Changes To Know
2. More CDC Vouchers + Cost-of-Living Support
If you found the 2023 allotment of $300 CDC vouchers helpful with your meals AND groceries budget, good news!
In Budget 2023, there will be S$300 more coming your way from January 2024. There’s also an additional S$100 per household.
Eligible Singaporeans will receive a one-off Cost-of-Living Special Payment between S$200-S$400. The allocated will be based on assessable income, with those aged 55 and above can also expect to receive a one-off Cost-of-Living Seniors’ Bonus between S$200-S$300.
This brings the total payout per Singaporean aged 21 and above to between S$700 and S$2,250 over the next 5 years.
Related to this topic: Singapore Budget 2023 Live Coverage: Key Highlights
3. More support for parents
Under the Tripartite Guidelines, the government has also been looking at improving flexi-work arrangements to support parents and families.
True to his word, DPM Lawrence Wong has indeed delivered a surprising gift not just for Mums, but for Dads too.
If you're not a Dad yet, in Budget 2023, the paternity leave quota has increased from two to four weeks for children born after 1 January 2024.
The amount of unpaid leave for both parents has also increased to 12 days per year for both parents from 1 Jan 2024. This brings the original 22 weeks to 24 weeks for a child’s 1st year.
For babies born between 1 October 2022 to 13 February 2023, the S$3,000 Baby Support grant will be extended. Parents will be notified of the support in the 2nd half of 2023.
For babies born on and after 14 February 2023, the grant has increased to S$8,000.
For school-going children, there will be a Child Development Account (CDA) top-up of S$400 for each child aged six and below. There will also be a S$300 top-up to Edusave and Post-Secondary Education Accounts.
Related to this topic: Singapore Budget 2023: Key Impacts Affecting Inflation, Employees, and Businesses
4. More support for Mums
The Working Mother's Child Relief (WMCR) was introduced to encourage married women to remain in the workforce after having children.
It used to be a percentage of income relief given to mothers based on the child’s birth order. The figures below show how the WMCR amount is calculated for Singaporean children born or adopted before 1 Jan 2024.
Source: Budget 2023
In Budget 2023, that is changed to a fixed dollar tax relief of up to S$12,000 for the 3rd and subsequent child, with effect from Year of Assessment 2025.
Despite the impending 1% GST increase from January 2024 to 9%, here’s hoping that with some prudence and clever spending, the additional support can help you go further and better.
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