D.1. Let me now go on to the second major thrust of the Budget, which is about strengthening our society. We will do more to build an inclusive society, where lower-income citizens can aspire and work towards a better life, and where everyone can contribute and share in Singapore’s progress. The most important way for us to achieve this is to sustain our growth, create good jobs and provide opportunities for everyone to keep upgrading. That is the only way we can grow the incomes of Singaporeans sustainably and over the long term.
D.2. However we cannot leave social cohesion purely to market forces. Left to the market, incomes will continue to diverge, and opportunities too will diverge. This is happening around the world, in almost every society that is integrated into global markets.
D.3. That is why the Government has intervened significantly in Singapore to tilt benefits in favour of those lower down the income ladder. But we must avoid the mistakes of the developed countries which have built up unsustainable systems of entitlements – in healthcare, unemployment insurance and pensions. These have not only meant high taxes today, but huge debts and unfunded government liabilities which can no longer be postponed. Worse, the over-generous social entitlements have progressively reduced the work ethic over time. Some of these developed countries are now undertaking painful reforms to gradually recover their economic dynamism.
D.4. Our approach must therefore remain centred on opportunities, not entitlements. This is why we are focusing on helping the low-income group through education, employment and home ownership:
- We will give their children every support in education, and provide pathways for every ability and talent. We must do everything we can to keep social mobility going with each new generation.
- Second, we will support employment, which is our real safety net in Singapore. Instead of automatic unemployment benefits, we have automatic employment benefits. Through Workfare, we top up to the wages of older, lower-income workers, and provide them extensive support to upgrade in their jobs.
- Third, we help lower-income Singaporeans own their own homes so that they too can see their assets grow as Singapore progresses. Even amongst the lowest 20% of our households, the home ownership rate is about 85%3. No other society comes close. But we will do even more.
D.5. We complement this with ComCare and our health subsidies for the needy, and strong incentives to encourage philanthropy and community giving.
D.6. Further, when our economy does well and our Budget is strong, we share surpluses with Singaporeans through special transfers, with more going to those in the lower- and middle-income groups.
D.7. Together, it all adds up to a highly progressive fiscal system. If we add up all our taxes – income and property taxes, GST and other indirect taxes – we find that the top 10% of households account for 38% of the taxes paid. The top 20% contribute 53% of all taxes (see Chart 3). That is as it should be.
D.8. Our lower-income groups, on the other hand, receive substantially more transfers from Government than what they pay, including the GST and other taxes. For those in the second decile from the bottom, net transfers from Government over the last five years were in fact equal to about 23% of their incomes (see Chart 4).
What Our Measures Add Up To
D.9. We will keep this progressive system, and enhance it further in this year’s Budget.
D.10. The Budget will provide a package of benefits for Singaporeans adding up to $6.6 billion – part of which to be received this year, and the rest being set aside for the future.
D.11. First, I will provide a ‘Grow & Share’ Package of $3.2 billion for households this year, with more going to our lower- and middle-income families. Second, I will set aside $3.4 billion now for longer-term social investments to enhance Singaporeans’ well-being – especially to support a first-class long-term care environment as our citizens grow older.
D.12. These benefits however do not include other permanent shifts in taxes and subsidies that Budget 2011 introduces – including greater progressivity in our income taxes, and significantly enhanced bursary support for students.
REWARDING WORKING SINGAPOREANS
D.13. Let me start with measures to support working Singaporeans.
Workfare Special Bonus
D.14. Our Workfare scheme currently provides support for about 400,000 workers.
D.15. As the economy has performed exceptionally and our revenues have been strong in 2010, I will provide a one-off Special Bonus payment for those on the Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) scheme. The Workfare Special Bonus will be given for work done in 2010, as well as for this and next year. The Bonus will amount to 50% more WIS for work done in 2010, and 25% more WIS each year for work done in 2011 and 2012. Employees will receive these bonuses fully in cash.
D.16. This year, there will be two Bonus payments, with the first on 15 May 2011. Self-Employed Persons who make their Medisave contributions will also benefit. They will receive half of their bonus in cash, and the other half in their CPF Medisave accounts.
D.17. Let me give an example. A 55-year-old employee earning $1,000 a month last year will receive a regular WIS payout of $2,100. With the Workfare Special Bonus this year, he will get an additional 50%, or $1,050. This is equivalent to getting one month extra pay, on top of the WIS which provides him more than two months’ extra pay.
D.18. The Workfare Special Bonus, together with the Special Employment Credit which I mentioned earlier, will therefore provide significant additional support over the next three years for older Singaporeans at work - helping them keep their jobs and topping up their pay, including more in the form of cash. We last enhanced the Workfare scheme in 2010, and will review it again comprehensively in two years’ time.
Reduction of Personal Income Taxes
D.19. Our personal income tax rates are already low by international standards. Further, only 44% of our resident workforce pay income taxes. However, I will reduce taxes significantly for middle- and upper middle-income taxpayers, by introducing a more progressive personal income tax schedule. Marginal tax rates will be reduced for the first $120,000 of chargeable income.
D.20. All taxpayers benefit when marginal tax rates are reduced at the bottom of the scale. But middle-income earners will enjoy the largest percentage reduction in taxes. Those with chargeable income of $60,000 will now pay 25% less tax; they will save $650 a year. Those with chargeable income of $160,000 save a smaller percentage of about 10%; but as they currently pay higher taxes, they will in fact save about $1,600 (see Table 1). Those with chargeable income of above $330,000 will save less than 1%, and get a modest $350.
Table 1: Changes to Personal Income Tax (Effective YA 2012)
D.21. These personal income tax changes will take effect from YA 2012. They will cost the Government about $590 million per year.
Personal Income Tax Rebate
D.22. We will continue to review our top personal income tax rate. While it is higher than in Hong Kong, there is no pressing competitive need for us to reduce it at this point.
D.23. I will however give something back to all taxpayers this year, in view of our stronger than expected revenues in 2010. I will provide a personal income tax rebate of 20% for individual resident taxpayers for YA 2011. The rebate will be capped at $2,000. Having this cap allows us to provide the greatest benefits to those with chargeable income of less than $120,000, which covers about 90% of our taxpayers. The income tax rebate will cost the Government $580 million.
Removing Radio and Television Licence Fees
D.24. I will remove radio and television licence fees permanently. The licence fees are losing their relevance. First, ownership of TVs is no longer limited to the middle- and higher-income groups. Today, most households – including 99% of lower-income households – own TVs. Second, with increasing media convergence, Singaporeans can now receive broadcast content over the Internet and mobile devices, which do not attract a licence fee.
D.25. I will thus do away with the $110 annual licence fee for televisions, with effect from January 2011. The $27 annual fee for vehicle radios will also be removed. Therefore, those who have yet to pay this year’s radio and television licence fees will not have to make the payment, while a refund will be given to those who have already paid. The revenue forgone from the removal of these licence fees will be approximately $120 million per year.
SUPPORTING FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN
D.26. Let me now move on to what we are going to do to help families with children.
Support for Early Years
Child Development Credit
D.27. First, I will introduce a new Child Development Credit scheme for all Singaporean children aged six and below4. The Credits will be provided from time to time, when we have surpluses to share with Singaporeans. This is similar to the way we provide top-ups to Edusave accounts for school-going children, and to Post-Secondary Education Accounts (PSEA) for students to use when they go on to tertiary education.
D.28. The Child Development Credit can be used to pay for their children’s preschool, childcare, and medical expenses. 80% of families with young children will receive $400 per child, which is in fact more than one month’s worth of NTUC childcare fees, after including the universal childcare subsidy. The remaining 20% who are better-off will receive $300.
D.29. The Child Development Credit will cost about $90 million and benefit over 220,000 children aged six and below. The Child Development Credit will be paid into the Children Development Accounts (CDAs), which most children already have. For those who do not currently have CDAs, they will be able to open accounts to receive their Credits5 (see Annex B-1 for details).
Enhancements to KiFAS and CFAC
D.30. We will also give additional support to lower-income families by enhancing subsidies for preschool education and childcare fees. The Kindergarten Financial Assistance Scheme (KiFAS) and the Centre-based Financial Assistance Scheme for Childcare (CFAC) currently provide subsidies for children from low-income families.
D.31. We will enhance and extend subsidies to a larger group of families, including those with up to $3,500 in gross monthly household income (the 40th percentile). Let me give an example of a family earning $2,500 a month (the 30th percentile). The amount they have to co-pay for childcare fees will be reduced from $3006 to about $90 a month. If instead their child is in an eligible kindergarten, they will now co-pay $33 a month. Low-income families will continue to pay far less – less than $10 a month for childcare.
D.32. These enhancements will double the number of children who benefit from KiFAS and CFAC, to a total of 24,000. The Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports will provide more details in the COS.
Support for School and Tertiary Students
Edusave Top Ups and Grants
D.33. We are topping up each primary and secondary school student’s Edusave account by $130, as has been earlier announced by the Minister for Education. We have also committed an additional $100 million in Edusave grants to schools.
Top Ups to SAC/SMC Funds
D.34. School Advisory Committees and School Management Committees also raise money to complement government assistance for these and other needy students. To provide more support for the good work by these Committees, I will provide a one-off top-up of $4.7 million to the funds of School Advisory Committees and School Management Committees to help needy Singaporean students. Each school will receive between $10,000 and $15,000, enough to cover about half of what they spend each year to help these students.
Financial Assistance to Special Education Schools
D.35. I will also provide a top-up to the Boards of our Special Education (SPED) schools which are run by VWOs. Each school will receive an average of $15,000.
D.36. In addition, we will extend the MOE Financial Assistance Scheme to pupils from lower-income families in the SPED schools. It will mean that SPED students from these families will be fully subsidised for their school fees, uniforms, and textbooks, and receive a 75% subsidy on their exam fees.
Enhanced Bursaries for Polytechnic and University Students
D.37. We will also do more to keep higher education affordable. We have already enhanced our CDC and CCC bursaries for ITE students from low-income families this year. We will also increase our undergraduate and diploma bursaries significantly, to ensure that no student is discouraged from taking his education as far he can.
D.38. We will raise bursaries for undergraduates at our universities, and diploma students at our polytechnics, and NAFA and LASALLE. We will provide bursaries for students from both lower- and middle-income families, up to the 66th percentile of household incomes7. University students who get the first tier of bursaries, who are those from the bottom one-third of households, will benefit from an 80% increase in bursaries, from $1,600 a year currently to $2,900 a year. These subsidies will cover 40% of their fees, and the students can finance the rest of the cost with a subsidised loan.
D.39. For diploma students, those from the bottom third of households will receive bursaries that are enough to cover 80% of their fees.
D.40. In total, the measures will cost us an additional $120 million per year. The Minister for Education will elaborate on the details of these measures in the COS.
D.41. When you add up all the grants and bursaries that the Government is providing in education for students from low-income families (the bottom 20%), the support is significant. Currently, a child from a low-income family who starts off in childcare and proceeds through to a polytechnic diploma, already pays only 3% of the cost of his education. With the enhancements we are making today, he will pay just 1% of the cost of his education.
PROVIDING THE BEST CARE FOR OUR SENIORS
Transforming Long-Term Care
D.42. Singaporeans are living longer. A larger proportion of our people are going to be elderly – by 2030, one in five residents will be aged 65 and above. We want to provide our seniors with the best possible care and help them stay healthy and active in their retirement years.
D.43. We are continuing to make significant investments with new acute care hospitals - Khoo Teck Puat Hospital has opened last year in the north, and Jurong General Hospital will open in 2014.
D.44. Our next big priority is to build up our long-term care sector. We will develop a high quality and comprehensive system, to provide the best possible care for the elderly and the disabled, not just in our hospitals but also in the community and in their own homes. We will provide enhanced government support so that we can develop the VWO sector for long-term care – good people and institutions that bring passion, expertise, and resources to help the elderly and disabled.
D.45. Today, we already have several good long-term care providers amongst our VWOs. For example, St Luke’s ElderCare provides day care services; Metta Welfare Association helps the disabled to stay active; the Home Nursing Foundation does good work to help the elderly in the community. We need more of them, and must raise the quality across the whole spectrum of providers – including community hospitals; day rehabilitation centres and home-based care so that the elderly can be close to family and friends; and institutionalised care in nursing homes and hospices.
D.46. We will take two important steps to develop this care sector.
Top up to ElderCare Fund
D.47. First, we will strengthen existing government funding for long-term care. Today, the Government provides significant subventions to providers in the sector through the ElderCare Fund. I will top up the fund by $700 million to reach its previous target size of $2.5 billion. With this top-up, we will be able to provide a 40% increase in funding to support VWOs in the sector. We will also raise the target size of the ElderCare Fund to $3 billion.
Matching Grants for Long-Term Care
D.48. Second, the Government will provide support to catalyse a higher level of philanthropic and community support for the long-term care sector. Our VWOs in the sector face many challenges, such as attracting and training good people, and developing new capabilities and services, for which they need more support from the community.
D.49. I will introduce a scheme of matching government grants for donations to the long-term care sector, similar to what we have done for our universities. I will put $1 billion into a new Community Silver Trust, to provide one-to-one matching for donations to VWOs that provide long- term care to Singaporeans. This commitment of $1 billion should hopefully spur a much higher level of private funding over the next 10 years.
D.50. Let me give an example of the type of quality care that this additional support can make possible. St Luke’s Hospital developed a glove-like device to help its elderly stroke patients regain functionality in their hands. During its trial phase, the “Neuro Hand” programme helped patients recover faster. It will be used for stroke patients in St Luke’s Hospital from April this year.
D.51. I encourage our philanthropists and others in the community to come forward, participate, and help develop new and better care services together with our VWOs.
Support for Programmes to Help the Elderly Immobile
D.52. We will provide additional financial support for low-income elderly people to help improve their mobility and independence, such as obtaining assistive devices like wheelchairs and walking-frames. The Government will set aside $10 million this year, for community organisations to tap on for this purpose. The Minister for Health will outline the details of this initiative in the COS.
Helping with Medical Expenses
Topping up our Medisave Accounts
D.53. As part of the surplus sharing that this year’s Budget allows, I will provide a top-up this year to the CPF Medisave Accounts of Singaporeans aged 45 and above. Those aged 45 to 49 will receive up to $300, while those aged 50 to 59 will get a top-up of up to $400. Older Singaporeans will receive more, with those 80 and above getting up to $700 (see Table 2). The Medisave top-ups will benefit approximately 1.3 million Singaporeans, and will cost the Government $500 million.
Table 2: CPF Medisave Top-Ups
Building up Medifund
D.54. I will augment our Medifund endowment, which is money well spent in helping needy Singaporeans who are unable to pay for their medical expenses even after using their Medisave and Medishield. The Medifund endowment currently stands at $1.9 billion. I will top it up by another $500 million from this year’s Budget. In addition, the Government will raise the target size of the Medifund endowment from $2 billion to $3 billion.
HELPING THE NEEDY
D.55. The ComCare Fund has proved to be a major benefit to needy citizens, enabling them to tide over difficult times. The Fund now stands at $800 million. I will inject a further $500 million into the ComCare Fund this year. The Government will also raise the target size for the ComCare Fund from $1 billion to $1.5 billion. The income from this larger fund will ensure that there is no lack of support for needy Singaporeans, even in years when our economy is down.
Increase in Public Assistance and Singapore Allowance
D.56. We will also revise the Public Assistance (PA) scheme, which provides financial aid to those who are permanently unable to work. The adjustments will ensure the basic needs of PA recipients are adequately met, taking into account recent increases in their household costs, and to provide a buffer for possible spikes that we may see this year, for example in food prices. For a single-person household, we will raise PA rates from $360 to $400 a month. Corresponding adjustments will be made for larger households and for the children. The Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports will provide more details of these increases in the COS.
D.57. We will also make adjustments to help lower-income government pensioners. The Government will increase the Singapore Allowance by $20 per month to $260. This will raise the monthly pension ceiling to $1,190 and benefit about 10,000 pensioners.
Additional funding to VWOs and Self-Help Groups
D.58. Our Self-Help Groups and VWOs such as family service centres have been expanding their roles. They are reaching out proactively to more needy families, to ensure that they remain integrated in the mainstream, and to help their children progress in school. To help them do more, I will set aside an additional $20 million to help with the professional development of social workers, so that they can serve better in the VWO sector in the future. I will also provide Self-Help Groups with an additional $10 million over the next two years.
Supporting Community Giving
D.59. I spoke earlier about our unique approach of co-funding charitable contributions for the purpose of developing the long-term care sector. We will do more to crowd in the community across the charitable sector. I will extend for another five years the 250% tax deduction for contributions to Institutions of Public Character (IPC) that I introduced in 2009. The enhanced scheme has had encouraging results, with sustained giving even during the 2009 recession. I hope that with the strong recovery in both corporate and higher-end individual incomes, we will see many more coming forward to help us make Singapore a truly caring society.
ENHANCING HOMES AND OUR QUALITY OF LIFE
D.60. We are making major investments to make Singapore a top quality home for our citizens. We also want more Singaporeans, including those in the lower-income groups, to have a home of their own which they can take pride in, which can appreciate in value over time, and will allow them to share in our prosperity together with other Singaporeans.
Helping Lower-Income Families Own Their Homes
Special CPF Housing Grant
D.61. We currently provide the Additional CPF Housing Grant (AHG) to help the bottom 50% of our households to own their homes. The low-income group in particular gets an AHG of $40,000. In this Budget, we will introduce further significant assistance to help low-income families purchase their flats.
D.62. The Government will introduce a Special CPF Housing Grant (SHG) to help low-income families making a first-time purchase of a Build-to-Order flat, on top of the existing Additional CPF Housing Grant. The SHG will be provided to families who earn up to $2,250 per month.
D.63. The SHG, together with our other subsidies, will allow more low-income families to own their own homes. In total, the Government will provide about $175 million in grants each year, for these families to pay for the flat which they will own. This is in addition to providing them with a subsidised loan to pay for their share. Details of this new Grant will be provided by the Minister for National Development in the COS.
Rejuvenating our Heartland
D.64. We will spend $10 billion to upgrade homes and rejuvenate estates over the next 10 years. This is a major effort to preserve the value of our HDB flats. Under the Home Improvement Programme (HIP), Neighbourhood Renewal Programme (NRP) and Lift Upgrading Programme (LUP), we will invest up to $55,000 per flat. In 2011 alone, around 50,000 flat owners will benefit from these schemes. In the following five years, from 2012 through 2016, another 300,000 will benefit from these upgrading programmes. An estimated 700,000 residents in Jurong Lake, East Coast, and Hougang will also enjoy the new batch of improvements under the Remaking our Heartland (ROH) initiative, some of whom will be beneficiaries of NRP and HIP as well. These rejuvenation and upgrading projects will take place in phases across the island.
Building a Vibrant Arts and Culture Environment
D.65. We will bring arts and culture within reach of more Singaporeans, and add depth and vibrancy to the arts scene.
D.66. Interest in arts and culture is in fact growing. Singapore’s arts scene is also now being noticed internationally. ‘CNNGo’ recently highlighted the top reason to visit Singapore this year as being that “Art is Alive”, citing a whole range of events taking place, including the Huayi Festival and Art Stage Singapore which were recently held, and upcoming events such as the Singapore Biennale and the Mosaic Music Festival.
D.67. We will build on the positive momentum we have achieved in recent years. The main thrust of what we want to do is to reach out to everyone, and to move beyond the arts and civic district into the heartlands. We will also provide enhanced support for arts institutions and practitioners, so as to encourage groundbreaking new work and to enable more Singaporeans to fulfil their aspirations for careers in the arts. The Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts will speak about these plans during the COS.
D.68. We will therefore significantly increase government spending on arts and culture. Over the next five years, our average annual programme spending will be about $365 million, an increase of more than 50% over the current level.
‘GROW & SHARE’ PACKAGE
D.69. We have introduced several long-term measures to help lower- and middle-income Singaporeans in this Budget.
D.70. I am complementing these long-term measures with a package of one-off measures to share our surplus and provide benefits to Singaporeans this year. This is our ‘Grow & Share’ Package, which will total $3.2 billion. I have already described some of the measures in this package, including rebates on personal income tax, the Workfare Special Bonus, top-ups to CPF Medisave accounts, the new Child Development Credit, top-ups to SAC/SMC and SPED school funds, and additional support for self-help groups and VWOs. Let me now announce further measures in the ‘Grow & Share’ Package that this year’s good Budget makes possible.
Additional Measures in the ‘Grow & Share’ Package
D.71. First, to share the fruits of last year’s exceptional economic growth, I will give Growth Dividends to all adult Singaporeans.
D.72. As in the past, the amount each Singaporean will receive will depend on his income and the value of his home. Both factors are relevant. We should give more to Singaporeans who are low-income regardless of where they live. However, there is also a difference in the level of affluence between those who stay in smaller HDB flats and those who live in high-value properties, even if they may not be drawing much income, for example, spouses who are not working.
D.73. The majority of Singaporeans – 80% – will get $600 to $800 each. Those with low incomes and who live in 3-room or smaller HDB flats will get a Growth Dividend of $800. Those in the middle-income group and who live in HDB flats and low-value private homes will receive a Growth Dividend of $600. I will also give $300 to those who live in more expensive homes but who do not have high incomes (see Table 3).
Table 3: Growth Dividends 2011
D.74. To recognise their contributions to the nation, I will also give NSmen and NSFs, including those below 21 years of age, an additional $100 of Growth Dividends. This is on top of the National Service Recognition Award (NSRA) payments that eligible servicemen will be receiving, starting February 2011.
D.75. The Growth Dividends will benefit about 2.5 million Singaporeans and cost the Government $1.5 billion this year.
D.76. Singaporeans can look forward to receiving their Growth Dividends and CPF top-ups by 1st May 2011.
Help with Household Expenses
D.77. Besides the Growth Dividends, we will provide households with more direct help to cope with rising expenses. Utility costs are going up because of the sharp rise in global oil prices. To help households cope with rising costs, I will provide additional Utilities-Save (U-Save) and Service and Conservancy Charges (S&CC) rebates this year.
D.78. Singaporeans in HDB flats are still receiving U-Save, S&CC and rental rebates as part of the GST Offset Package introduced in 2007. I will top up the U-Save rebates this year. 1- and 2-room households will get an additional $170, giving them a total of $360 in U-Save rebates this year. This is equivalent to about five months of their utility bills. Those in 3- and 4-room flats will get between $320 and $340, and a little less for 5-room and executive flats.
D.79. I will also provide additional S&CC rebates. 1- to 4-room HDB households will get an extra month of rebate. This will add up to three months of S&CC rebates this year for 1- to 2-room households, two months for 3- and 4-room households, and at least one month for the larger flats (see Table 4).
Table 4: Total Household Rebates in 2011
D.80. These rebates will benefit 800,000 households and cost the Government about $200 million, on top of the amounts committed as part of the GST Offset Package.
How the Household Benefits Add Up
D.81. These measures will provide significant benefits for Singaporeans this year, and further benefits in the future. The average Singaporean household will receive about $3,000 from this year’s Budget. This will be equal to about 5% of their annual household incomes. It will also be more than double the increase they could see in their household expenses this year8 (see Chart 5 below and Annex B-2 for examples). Further, these Government benefits are on top of wage increases that they can expect to receive this year, which will also help to offset inflation
D.82. Lower-income households will get more, especially in comparison to their household expenses. I will illustrate with the case of a 4-person family, with parents earning a combined monthly income of $2,000. They have two young children, one in primary school and the other in childcare.
D.83. The couple will receive Growth Dividends of $1,700 and Workfare Special Bonus of $780 in total. In addition, they will benefit from a Child Development Credit of $400, and a further $260 from this year’s enhanced U-Save and S&CC rebates. In total, they will receive about $3,100 from the ‘Grow & Share’ Package.
D.84. Including other measures that we have introduced this year such as the removal of Radio and TV licence fees, and the enhanced CFAC Scheme for lower-income children in childcare, the family will receive about $3,500 this year. This is equivalent to about 15% of their incomes. The benefits that they receive will also be more than four times the expected increase in their household expenses this year – without taking into account any wage increases.
D.85. This is also before counting the benefits which they will receive this year, which had already been committed in previous Budgets. On top of the $3,500 from this year’s Budget, if we add just four elements – the regular Workfare payments they will receive, their existing CFAC fee subsidies, and the pre-committed U-Save and S&CC rebates – the family will receive total benefits from Government amounting to a substantial $8,500 (see Annex B-2).
3 Household Expenditure Survey 2007
4 Including all children born in 2011.
5 The usage and withdrawal of the Child Development Credit will be subject to the current approved usage and withdrawal under the Children Development Co-Savings Act. Children who are not currently eligible for CDAs will continue not to receive matching government contribution.
6 They will now also qualify for CFAC, and receive an additional subsidy of $210 a month. They also currently receive the universal childcare subsidy of $300 a month for each child, which is roughly half the average childcare fee of $588 in NTUC childcare centres.
7 The existing polytechnic bursary scheme only extends to the 50th percentile. The university bursary scheme was extended to the 66th percentile in 2008.
8 Based on 2007/08 Household Expenditure Survey data. The increase in cost of living in 2011 is based on projection of 3% to 4% increase in household expenses based on the CPI; this excludes the imputed rental value of Owner-Occupied accommodation, which does not imply any cash outlay. It also excludes the cost of purchasing new cars, which only a small proportion of Singaporeans would encounter this year.