To account for higher inflation, cash payments under the Assurance Package will see increases of between S$300 and S$650 for eligible Singaporeans.
During his 2023 Budget Statement on Feb. 14, Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Ministry Lawerence Wong announced several enhancements to the Assurance Package to help defray the impact of the hike in Goods and Services Taxes (GST) for Singaporeans.
GST rates have increased to eight per cent on Jan. 1, 2023, with another increase from eight to nine per cent on Jan. 1, 2024.
These enhancements to the Assurance Package will help offset additional GST expenses for at least five years for most Singaporean households, and 10 years for lower-income households, said Wong.
For lower-income households, the enhancements will fully cover the increases in spending due to the GST hike and inflation, Wong said. Middle-income households will have their spending substantially covered.
The new enhancements will cost S$3 billion, bringing the total amount of the Assurance Package from S$6.6 billion to S$9.6 billion.
Cash payment increase
Eligible adult Singaporeans will receive additional cash of between S$300 and S$650 more over the remaining years of the package.
These cash payments will be handed out in December every year till December 2027.
This will bring the total Assurance Package cash payment received by adult Singaporeans to between S$700 and S$2,250 over five years.
These cash payments will benefit about 2.9 million adult Singaporeans aged 21 and above, said Wong.
Increase in CDC vouchers
Wong also announced an increase in CDC Vouchers by S$100 in 2024.
This means that in January 2024, Singapore households will receive another S$300 in CDC vouchers.
CDC Vouchers can be spent at participating heartland merchants, hawkers and supermarkets.
Tackling the increase in cost-of-living
Wong also announced additional one-off support measures under the Assurance Package to address Singaporeans' concerns regarding the cost-of-living.
There will be a Cost-of-Living Special Payment of between S$200 and S$400 for each eligible adult Singaporean in June 2023.
This special payment will benefit about 2.5 million adult Singaporeans.
Seniors will also see support in the form of a Cost-of-Living Seniors' Bonus, where about 850,000 eligible Singaporeans above the age of 55 will receive between S$200 and S$300 in June 2023.
Eligible households can also expect to receive up to S$760 in U-Save Rebates in 2023.
The U-Save Rebates will be provided to households over three tranches of disbursement this year — April, July and October later this year.
The U-Save Rebates will help to offset about 950,000 Singaporean HDB households' utility bills.
To help support households with children, each child below the age of six will receive a S$400 top-up to their Child Development Account.
Children between the ages of seven and 20 will receive a top-up of S$300 to their Edusave account or Post-Secondary Education Account.
Top photo via Unsplash