Singapore Budget 2017: One-off GST voucher of up to $200, increase in U-Save and S&CC rebates

A one-off Goods and Services Tax (GST) voucher of up to $200 will be paid out in Nov 2017. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - More than 1.3 million Singaporeans will again benefit from a one-off Goods and Services Tax (GST) voucher, as the Government announced a slew of support measures to help households cope with rising expenses amid a slowing economy.

This "cash special payment" voucher of up to $200 will be paid out in November.

It is expected to cost the Government $280 million, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in his Budget address on Monday (Feb 20).

It is the second year running that the voucher will be given to those eligible, who must be Singaporeans aged 21 and above and earn $28,000 or less in assessable income in 2016.

The recipients are those who already qualify for the regular GST cash voucher of up to $300, which will be paid out in August.

This means that they could potentially get a total of $500 if the annual value of their home as at Dec 31 last year was up to $13,000, and $250 if the annual value as at the same date was between $13,001 and $21,000.

The GST Utilities-Save (U-Save) voucher, according to Mr Heng, will also see an permanent increase by an amount ranging from $40 to $120, depending on flat type.

Those staying in a one or two-room flat will get the maximum increase of $120 to $380. The U-Save rebates are meant to soften the impact of the water price increase announced earlier.

This is expected to cost the Government an additional $71 million per year, and benefit about 880,000 HDB households.

Older Singaporeans and Singaporean households will continue to receive their GST Medisave vouchers.

Lastly, eligible HDB households will also see their service and conservancy charges (S&CC) rebates increased by half a month, Mr Heng added.

One and two-room HDB households will get rebates of 3.5 months, while three and four-room households will get 2.5 months.

Households in five-room flats will get two months of rebates, while those in executive flats will get a rebate of 1.5 months.

These household support measures, including a 20 per cent personal income tax rebate, are expected to cost the Government $850 million in additional funds this year.

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