BUDGET 2016 - Shaping our future together: Helping families

Grant 'will free up cash for delivery fees'

Mr Josiah Yeo and his wife Christine Yeo had their first child on March 15. He welcomed both the First Step Grant and doubling of the Medisave withdrawal limit for pre-delivery medical expenses. However, he said the First Step Grant will not affect h
Mr Josiah Yeo and his wife Christine Yeo had their first child on March 15. He welcomed both the First Step Grant and doubling of the Medisave withdrawal limit for pre-delivery medical expenses. However, he said the First Step Grant will not affect his decision whether to have more children.ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

Civil servant Josiah Yeo, 33, who hopes to have a second child in the next three years, welcomed the Child Development Account (CDA) First Step Grant announced yesterday.

The $3,000 grant would be deposited into the child's CDA, without him first having to put money in it. Before this, parents had to deposit $3,000 into their child's CDA to receive a matching $3,000 contribution from the Government.

Mr Yeo said the grant means he would not have to contribute as much initially to the child's CDA, as it would already have $3,000 in it. He might top up the account later.

 

Funds in this account can be used for education and healthcare expenses. From July 1, the government will put $3,000 into the CDAs of all eligible babies born from yesterday. However, to receive this, the Government said that parents should deposit money into these babies' CDAs only from July 1 onwards.

"This (grant) would free up cash to pay for hospital delivery fees, which were around $3,000 this time around," said Mr Yeo, whose first child was born on March 15.

The grant, however, will not affect his decision on whether to have more children, he said.

Mr Yeo, who works in the area of education, and his wife, Ms Christine Yeo, 31, were married last year. Their total take-home pay after accounting for taxes and CPF contributions is about $5,000 a month.

A RELIEF

This (grant) would free up cash to pay for hospital delivery fees, which were around $3,000 this time around. My wife and I view finances as a security, so just having more cash on hand would relieve any extra stress.

MR JOSIAH YEO, whose first child was born on March 15 and who hopes to have another child in the next three years.

Mr Yeo also welcomed the doubling of the Medisave withdrawal limit from $450 to $900 for pre- delivery medical expenses.

During her pregnancy, his wife, who is a part-time professional pianist, visited the gynaecologist about 12 to 13 times, with each visit costing about $120.

"If there is $900, it really provides a buffer, " he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 25, 2016, with the headline 'Grant 'will free up cash for delivery fees''. Print Edition | Subscribe