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Grocery vouchers to be delivered to homes

Move comes after theft of first batch of $150 vouchers from some letterboxes

As of Nov 3, 55 people have been arrested for stealing the grocery vouchers. PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

The second batch of $150 grocery vouchers to help less well-off Singaporeans living in one-and two-room Housing Board flats will be given out over the next four Saturdays, starting Dec 12, this time directly to the homes of recipients.

This comes after about 229 sets of the previous batch of vouchers were stolen from letterboxes, some damaged or unlocked. The Ministry of Finance said the changed delivery method should "better balance safety, security and convenience to recipients".

For those not at home after SingPost agents try to deliver it twice, recipients will be notified to collect their vouchers at a specified post office within 10 working days.

The grocery vouchers were announced by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat earlier in the year during the Budget.

About 150,000 eligible recipients - Singaporeans aged 21 years and above living in one-and two-room flats, and who do not own more than one property - will get $300 this year and a further $100 in October next year.

The first $150 was already given out in an exercise in October.

Mr Heng said some recipients have shared how the vouchers made a difference to them, and he hoped this second set of vouchers will similarly help households defray their expenses.

"During this challenging period, we know that household expenses may be weighing on the minds of less well-off families among us," said Mr Heng, who is also Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies and Minister for Finance.

"We had earlier disbursed the first tranche of the grocery vouchers in October which helped to defray the recipients' household expenses. I hope that the second round of vouchers will provide additional assistance."

As at Oct 28, 55 people have been arrested for stealing the grocery vouchers.

Second Minister for Finance Indranee Rajah said in Parliament that digital vouchers had been ruled out as recipients may not own a smartphone, have a mobile data plan or the digital know-how necessary.

About 150,000 eligible recipients - Singaporeans aged 21 years and above living in one-and two-room flats, and who do not own more than one property - will get $300 this year and a further $100 in October next year.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 07, 2020, with the headline Grocery vouchers to be delivered to homes. Subscribe