'Grow & Share' Package also benefits those living in Private Homes29 Apr 2011
Mdm Lim Liu Yun ("Why is it that private house owners are not eligible for U-save rebates", LHZB, 23 April 2011) felt that the 'Grow & Share' package had forgotten the elderly living in private homes, and asked why they were not eligible for U-Save rebates.
U-Save rebates are given to households in HDB flats only, because those living in HDB flats tend to be less well-off than those in private housing, in particular with regard to their wealth. We recognise that some retirees living in private housing may have limited savings or sources of support from their children. However it is difficult to distinguish such cases from others, who may also have retired but have access to a comfortable level of wealth or other family support. There are also a fair number of families where a spouse is not working, but the breadwinner earns very good income.
Any national distribution scheme has to find some approximate way of distinguishing the less from the more well-off. It is not perfect, and we will review if there is a better way of doing this in future.
Elderly Singaporeans living in private homes benefit from the "Grow & Share" package. Apart from Growth Dividends, elderly Singaporeans in private homes will also benefit from CPF Medisave Top-ups, to help them with their medical expenses. They also enjoy the removal of radio and TV license fees, which will help them with their living expenses.
The "Grow & Share" package gives most Singaporeans more than the increase in their cost of living this year. In addition, Singaporeans in financial difficulty can approach their Community Development Councils for help.
Lim Bee Khim (Ms)
Director, Corporate Communications
Ministry of Finance