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Forum Replies

Other Help Schemes For Needy Citizens Living in Private Properties

04 Apr 2012

WE THANK Mr Tan Kok Tim for his letter ('Praise for GST Voucher Fund and appeal to consider widening criteria'; last Friday), in which he suggested raising the annual value criterion for the GST Voucher to $40,000.

Mr Tan saw this as a way to benefit those who live in private properties but are in financial difficulty, for example, due to prolonged illness.

The GST Voucher is targeted at Singaporeans with lesser means.

The current annual value criterion of $20,000, which includes all HDB properties and lower-end private properties, already covers 80 per cent of all homes.

We appreciate that even Singaporeans living in private properties may encounter financial difficulty.

However, there are other schemes besides the GST Voucher that can help them.

In this Budget alone, we have raised the subsidies for all types of long-term care services, including community hospitals, day-care centres and home-care services, and permanently absorbed the goods and services tax (GST) for the sector.

Singaporeans who need further assistance may tap Medifund and ComCare. They can also approach their community development council, citizens' consultative committee or family service centre, which are well placed to assess their circumstances and provide the necessary help.

We assure Mr Tan that the criteria are reviewed from time to time, to ensure that the GST Voucher is able to reach those who need it most.

Lim Bee Khim (Ms)
Director (Corporate Communications)
Ministry of Finance