Some reliefs already based on Annual Value12 Dec 2007
I REFER to Mr On Giin Jau's letter, 'Give reliefs based on flat valuation, not flat type' (ST, Dec 8), suggesting that the Government provides tax reliefs and rebates based on the Annual Value (AV) of a flat rather than flat type.
We agree with Mr On that the AV of a flat is a better proxy of wealth than flat type. He may wish to note that the Government already uses the AV of a property as the criterion for the disbursement of GST credits and tax-related reliefs, specifically property-tax rebates.
Such forms of relief are provided to all Singaporeans, including those living in private properties, and households with lower AVs enjoy more relief.
For rebates that are provided only to HDB households, like rebates on utilities charges, service and conservancy charges and rental charges for one- and two-room rental flats, they are based on flat type, with smaller flat types enjoying a higher rebate.
This is simple to understand and to administer, and serves the intended purpose of helping those more in need.
Nevertheless, we acknowledge Mr On's point that flat type may not always be an accurate proxy of wealth. Going forward we will continue to review how to improve the disbursement of government reliefs and rebates in a way which is fair and reasonable.
We thank Mr On for his feedback.
TAN LI SAN
DIRECTOR (SOCIAL PROGRAMMES)
MINISTRY OF FINANCE