1.6m Singaporeans to get GST benefits, Medisave top-ups

Madam Sulami Hassan, who suffered a stroke two years ago, and her daughter Noor Sheela Sani at their flat in Yishun. The GST vouchers will "help to lighten our financial burden", said Ms Noor Sheela, who also intends to use the Medisave top-ups to of
Madam Sulami Hassan, who suffered a stroke two years ago, and her daughter Noor Sheela Sani at their flat in Yishun. The GST vouchers will "help to lighten our financial burden", said Ms Noor Sheela, who also intends to use the Medisave top-ups to offset her mother's medical bills.ST PHOTO: BENJAMIN SEETOR

Madam Sulami Hassan retired as a gardener two years ago after suffering a stroke, and now lives with her daughter.

Looking after her 71-year-old mother has been tough emotionally and financially for Ms Noor Sheela Sani, who supports both of them by working as a school administration clerk.

However, Madam Sulami is one of 1.6 million Singaporeans set to receive goods and services tax (GST) benefits and Medisave top-ups - worth a total of $1 billion - which were announced yesterday by the Ministry of Finance.

Eligible Singaporeans will receive text messages or letters by July 6 to tell them what they are due to receive under the GST Voucher (GSTV) scheme, which was introduced in 2012 to help lower-and middle-income Singaporeans offset some of their GST expenses. The criteria for eligible Singaporeans include age and annual home value.

As announced in Budget 2018, a one-off SG Bonus of up to $300 will be given at the end of the year to Singaporeans aged 21 and above in 2018. A one-off service and conservancy charges rebate will also be given to provide additional support to households.

The money will come as a timely boost for Ms Noor Sheela.

"When my mother had a stroke, it was really hard for me," said the 24-year-old. "We didn't have the money to afford medical bills and stuff like that. The GST vouchers will really help to lighten our financial burden. I am very thankful. The money will be saved to be used during an emergency.

  • Benefits for many

  • GSTV-CASH

    • About 1.39 million Singaporeans will receive up to $300 in GSTV-Cash in August.

    MEDISAVE TOP-UPS

    • About 485,000 Singaporeans aged 65 years and above in 2018 will receive up to $450 in GSTV-MediSave.

    • In addition, about 520,000 Singaporeans born on or before Dec 31, 1959 (59 years and above in 2018) and who do not receive Pioneer Generation benefits will receive a MediSave top-up of up to $200.

    SG BONUS

    • Singaporeans aged 21 and above in 2018 can receive an SG Bonus of up to $300 at the end of the year.

    GSTV U-SAVE

    • 900,000 eligible HDB households will receive an additional U-save of $20 a year from 2019 to 2021, which will help to offset utility bills.

    ONE-OFF SERVICE AND CONSERVANCY CHARGES (S&CC) REBATE

    • Around 900,000 eligible Singaporean HDB households will receive 1.5 to 3.5 months of S&CC rebate until January next year, depending on their Housing Board flat type.

  • Jasia Shamdasani

"The Medisave top-ups will also be used to offset some of the medical bills as my mother has to take a lot of medication for diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol and more."

Citizens can use their SingPass to view their GSTV-Cash and Medisave benefits online at www.gstvoucher.gov.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 29, 2018, with the headline '1.6m Singaporeans to get GST benefits, Medisave top-ups'. Print Edition | Subscribe