Budget 2013: $1.7 billion to help households with cost of living
Published on Feb 25, 2013 5:36 PM
The Government will provide $1.7 billion of direct assistance to help households cope with the increase in the cost of living, said Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam in his Budget speech on Monday.
Low-income and middle-income families will be given an additional Goods and Services Tax (GST) voucher, in addition to the permanent GST voucher scheme which was introduced last year. This will mean a doubling of the amount that eligible households receive, which is $740 for regular households or $1,240 for a retiree household.
All Housing Board households will also get a reprieve on their service and conservancy charges. Households living in one- to two-room flats will get a three-month rebate, while those in three- to four-room flats will get two months. Those living in five-room flats will get a 1.5 month rebate while those in executive flats will get a month's rebate.
Direct assistance for cost of living
Source: Ministry of Finance
Families with young children, elderly dependent and person with disabilities will get a concession on their foreign domestic worker levy. The levy will be reduced from $170 to $120 a month for those who are eligible, saving them $600 a year.
A segment of Singaporeans - those aged 45 and above - will get a $200 Central Provident Fund Medisave top-up. These top-ups will benefit 1.5 million Singaporeans and cost the Government $300 million.
All Singaporeans will also get personal tax rebates for the Year of Assessment 2013. Residents aged below 60 years will get a 30 per cent rebate, capped at $1,500, while those aged 60 and above will get a 50 per cent rebate capped at $1,500.
Having the cap, said DPM Tharman, will allow the Government to provide the "greatest benefits" to those at the 80th percentile and below of taxpayers.
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