Various means-testing criteria used for social schemes

We thank Mr Lee Yong Se for his feedback on the means-testing criteria for our social schemes (Relook using property type as yardstick for rebates, Feb 13).

Government agencies use a range of information about an individual or the household to determine their financial situation - for example, individual income, household income, number of household members, flat type, and/or annual value of the place of residence.

There are few government schemes that solely use flat type to determine eligibility.

Two schemes that do are the Utilities-Save (U-Save) and the Service and Conservancy Charges Rebate, which are given to Singaporean HDB dwellers who do not own another property.

Other schemes, such as GST Voucher - Cash, use the annual value of the place of residence and also have an income criterion.

Some Singaporeans residing in lower-value private properties but with low income will receive the GST Voucher - Cash.

We recognise that no criterion is perfect.

In designing different schemes, we select the criteria that are more relevant for the scheme, while minimising complexity where we can.

We regularly review our social schemes to keep our overall system of subsidies fair, with more support for households which require more assistance.

Lim Yuin Chien

Director (Corporate Communications)

Ministry of Finance

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 15, 2019, with the headline 'Various means-testing criteria used for social schemes'. Print Edition | Subscribe