Fortitude Budget

$100 utilities credit for households with at least one Singaporean

The Solidarity Utilities Credit comes on top of Utilities-Save rebates given to all eligible Housing Board households as part of the GST Voucher.
The Solidarity Utilities Credit comes on top of Utilities-Save rebates given to all eligible Housing Board households as part of the GST Voucher.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Sum to be credited in utility bills in July or August, and covers all property types

All households with at least one Singaporean member will receive a one-off $100 subsidy to cover their utility bills.

This sum, known as the Solidarity Utilities Credit, will be credited in their utility bills in July or August, and cover all property types.

Announcing this yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said it is a way of thanking Sin-gaporeans for doing their part in the fight against Covid-19 by staying home.

"Singaporeans have given us feedback that while they are saving on transport fares and other charges, they are expecting to spend more on their utility bills, as they stay home during the circuit breaker period," he noted.

The sum comes on top of Utilities-Save (U-Save) rebates given to all eligible Housing Board households as part of the Goods and Services Tax Voucher, which helps households offset their utility bills.

Larger households with five or more members can receive up to $1,000 in U-Save rebates for the financial year 2020.

The Government will continue to provide help for immediate needs, stressed Mr Heng.

Another $800 million will be set aside for the Covid-19 Support Grant, which supports those who lost their jobs due to the pandemic, employees placed on no-pay leave and those who will see their salaries reduced significantly in the coming months due to the pandemic, among other criteria.

It provides up to $800 per month for three months.

The Government has received about 48,000 applications in the three weeks after the support grant started this month.

An initial sum of $145 million was set aside for the Covid-19 Support Grant, the Temporary Relief Fund (TRF) and to give social service offices more flexibility in dispensing ComCare aid.

The TRF, which gives a one-off payout of $500, helped 450,000 people who needed immediate financial help last month.

Mr Heng said: "We are committed to providing help to those who have been badly affected."

Singaporean households will also be receiving more payouts in the coming months, he said.

Besides the Solidarity Payment of $600 in cash, which adult Singaporeans received last month, other components from the Care and Support Package will reach Singaporeans in the coming months.

For instance, lower-and middle-income Singaporeans will receive their remaining Care and Support payouts of $300 or $600 next month.

Citizens with at least one Singaporean child aged 20 and below this year will also receive a $300 cash payout next month.

These come on top of permanent support like the cash component of the GST Voucher, which will be paid out in August.

The self-employed will also receive direct cash assistance through the Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme, which offers a $9,000 payout over nine months. More than 100,000 self-employed people will be getting their first payout of $3,000 this week, said Mr Heng.

Those who do not automatically qualify or have marginally missed the criteria can approach the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), which has received more than 60,000 applications so far.

Applicants can expect to hear from NTUC within a month of submitting their application, he added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 27, 2020, with the headline '$100 utilities credit for households with at least one S'porean'. Print Edition | Subscribe