SINGAPORE - About 97 per cent and 87 per cent of Singaporean households have claimed their December 2021 and May 2022 Community Development Council or CDC vouchers, respectively, as at September 2022.
These households have utilised $180 million, which is about 80 per cent of the total vouchers available to them.
Senior Minister of State for Finance Chee Hong Tat gave this update in Parliament on Monday in response to questions from Mr Ang Wei Neng (West Coast GRC).
Mr Ang had asked whether in the light of persistently high inflation rates in the last few months, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) would consider bringing the distribution of CDC vouchers forward to the third quarter of 2022 instead of January 2023.
He also asked if it would consider issuing $100 CDC vouchers to every Singaporean aged over 21 years old, instead of to each household.
"The Government understands Singaporeans' concerns over rising prices," said Mr Chee. "We are carefully monitoring the situation, and will consider if there is a need to provide more assistance, or bring forward some of the support schemes, especially if the situation worsens further."
To help Singaporean households with their daily expenses, the Government has disbursed two sets of CDC vouchers worth $100 each in December 2021 and May 2022. These vouchers can be used at over 18,000 participating heartland merchants and hawkers until the end of this year.
In addition, $200 more in vouchers will be disbursed in early 2023, and another $200 in 2024.
Mr Chee said that besides the CDC vouchers, there is a mix of support measures given at the household and individual levels to help Singaporeans cope with inflation and cost-of-living concerns, with more help given to the lower-income and vulnerable groups.
For example, a low-income couple with two young children living in a three-room HDB flat can expect to receive about $3,700 this financial year in various forms of support, such as cash, education top-ups, utilities and service and conservancy charges (S&CC) rebates, as well as CDC vouchers.
Mr Ang also pointed out that inflation has hit its highest in 14 years, and asked if the Government would consider doing more after monitoring the situation for the past few months.
To this, Mr Chee said some of the measures under the $1.5 billion support package announced in June are still being rolled out, and that CDC vouchers form part of the overall support schemes. It is a broad-based scheme, he said, unlike other targeted support measures like household utility rebates to help the lower-income and more vulnerable groups.
MOF had on Friday announced that about 950,000 Singaporean households living in HDB flats will receive their third quarterly GSTV - U-Save and GSTV - S&CC rebates in October 2022. These rebates are part of the permanent GST Voucher (GSTV) scheme and Household Support Package announced at Budget 2022, and will provide continuing help to defray the GST and other living expenses of lower- to middle-income Singaporean households.