SINGAPORE — As a measure to deal with inflation fears, the Singapore government will provide a one-time "cost-of-living special payment" and provide another S$300 in Community Development Council (CDC) vouchers.
Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong announced these support measures on Tuesday (14 February) during his budget speech.
One-time "cost-of-living special payment" and $300 CDC vouchers
Singaporeans aged 21 and above, with an annual assessable income below S$100,000 and owning no more than one property, will be eligible for the cost-of-living special payment this year.
A person earning up to S$22,000 a year will receive S$400; S$300 will be for those earning between S$22,000 and S$34,000; and those earning between S$34,000 and up to S$100,000 will receive S$200.
About 2.5 million adult Singaporeans will receive the payment under the Assurance package in June.
DPM Wong, who is also Finance Minister, explained that these payments are part of a S$3 billion enhancement to the Assurance Package.
The package, now totalling S$9.6 billion, was first announced in 2020 to cushion the impact of the GST hike and to manage inflation.
Also read: Singapore Budget 2023: What you need to know
Prepare for a period of higher inflation: DPM Wong
Singaporeans have to prepare themselves for a period of relatively higher inflation, both globally and domestically, according to DPM Wong.
"We cannot say how long this will last, but we expect Singapore's headline inflation to remain high, at least for the first half of this year," he said.
This year, the Assurance Package and GST Voucher scheme will provide comprehensive assistance to the majority of Singaporean households.
"For lower-income households, the enhancements will fully cover the increases in spending due to inflation and the GST rate increase," DPM Wong said.
He added that he will also increase the cash payouts by between S$300 and S$650 for eligible Singaporeans over the remaining years of the Assurance Package.
This means the total Assurance Package cash payments to adult Singaporeans would be between S$700 and S$2,250 over five years.
All Singaporean households will also get another S$300 in CDC vouchers in January 2024.
They can be used at participating heartland merchants and hawkers, as well as participating supermarkets.
More support for children and seniors
Singaporean households will also receive U-Save rebates, which they will receive in three installments this year.
For those living in one- and two-room flats, the total amount disbursed this year will range from S$440 to S$760, while those living in executive and multi-generational flats will receive S$440.
About 950,000 Singaporean households are expected to receive these rebates.
The government will also provide additional assistance to eligible Singaporean seniors aged 55 and over with a cost-of-living bonus of between S$200 and S$300.
A S$400 top-up will be given to each child up to the age of six years old for his Child Development Account. Children older than six will get a S$300 top-up to their Edusave or Post-Secondary Education Account.
DPM Wong pointed out that a lower-income family with two young children will receive about S$5,500 in benefits, which will include cash, CDC vouchers and government top-ups to the Child Development Account.