Government increases cash payouts to help Singaporeans tide through Covid-19

You get money, you get money, everybody gets money!

Well, lest you get confused, Oprah Winfrey isn't giving away money to Singaporeans during this difficult time. Our Government though has announced an extraordinary Resilience Budget on March 26, providing Singaporean families and local businesses with more financial relief and assurance during this period of uncertainty.

One example is the enhanced Care and Support Package. First announced in the Unity Budget on Feb 18, the enhanced package under the Resilience and Solidarity Budgets now provides adult Singaporeans with a bigger one-off cash payout of up to $1,200, and households with higher U-Save rebates to cover their utilities expenses.

Curious to know what other benefits Singaporean families will be getting? Then read on and allow us to break it down for you.

1) Bigger one-off cash payouts

PHOTO: AFP

All Singaporeans aged 21 and above can look forward to a one-off Solidarity Payment of $600 in cash in April 2020. If you have provided your bank account details to the Government, you will receive the Solidarity Payment in your bank account by April 14. If you have not, you will receive the payment by cheque from April 30.

In June 2020, you can receive an additional $300 or $600 in cash, depending on your assessable income for 2019.

Plus, if you have one or more children aged 20 and below in 2020, you and your spouse will each receive an additional $300 in cash in June 2020.

2) More rebates for utilities expenses

This year, all eligible HDB households will receive double the usual GST U-Save rebates!

For example, a family living in a three-room HDB flat will get $360 from the regular GST Voucher (GSTV)-U-Save, plus another $360 from the GSTV-U-Save special payment.

For larger households with five or more members, they'll get 2.5 times the regular GSTV-U-Save. So a large household living in a three-room flat will receive $900 in total.

HDB Flat Type Type (A) Regular GSTV-U-Save (B) GSTV-U-Save Special Payment (C) Further GSTV-U-Save for households with 5 or more members (A)+(B)+(C) Total GSTV-U-Save for FY 2020
 1- and 2-room  $400  $400  $200  $800 or $1,000
 3-room  $360  $360  $180  $720 or $900
 4-room  $320  $320  $160  $640 or $800
 5-room  $280  $280  $140  $560 or $700
 Executive/Multi-Generation  $240  $240  $120  $480 or $600

3) Just for seniors — PAssion Card top-up

Singaporeans aged 50 and above this year will now receive their one-off $100 PAssion Card top-up in cash instead. This means that they won't have to queue at a top-up machine to redeem the $100, as it will be cashed directly into their bank account!

Eligible Singaporeans will be notified via letter and can expect to receive this payout from June 2020.

Here's a quick summary of the enhanced Care and Support Package:

PHOTO: Ministry of Communications and Information

4) More help for lower-income Singaporeans

All Singaporean employees and self-employed persons who received Workfare Income Supplement payments in 2019 will receive a Workfare Special Payment of between $100 to $720 in 2020.

The payout has since been bumped up to $3,000 per eligible recipient and will be made in two payments of $1,500 — once in July and another in October.

Singaporeans aged 21 and above who live in one-room and two-room HDB flats, and do not own more than one property, will receive $400 Grocery Vouchers over two years — $300 this year and $100 in 2021.

5) Increased support for student loan repayments

In these trying times, there will be greater flexibility on Government fees and loans.

Graduates of autonomous universities and polytechnics will have their student loan repayments and interest charges suspended for one year from June 1, 2020 to May 31, 2021.

This article is brought to you in partnership with Gov.sg. For more information, visit www.talkofthetown.sg.

bryanlim@asiaone.com