U-Save Rebate: More Aid For The Less Well-Off04 Sep 2013
Mr Ivan Goh (“Base U-Save rebate on household size”, ST Aug 19) felt that the GST Voucher (GSTV) – U-Save should be based on the number of persons living in the flat.
The GSTV scheme helps lower- and middle-income Singaporean households with their expenses. A larger amount of GSTV – U-Save is given to those living in smaller HDB flats because households living in these flats are, on average, less well-off than those living in larger HDB flats.
The GSTV – U-Save is given to a household, rather than to individuals. While it would be ideal to take into account the number of household members, and how much they earn, it would be intrusive and administratively complex to do so for a scheme involving 800,000 HDB flats. While flat type is not a perfect indication of a household’s means, it is a reasonable proxy and enables the Government to disburse household benefits on a timely basis.
There are other benefits which, taken together, provide more to help to those with larger households. For example, households with more elderly persons will receive more GSTV – Medisave. Those with more low-wage workers would receive more GSTV – Cash, and Workfare. Children from lower-income families can benefit from financial assistance and bursaries.
We will continue to further review and refine how to target Government assistance to ensure that the schemes and rebates reach the households which need more help.
Lim Bee Khim (Ms)
Director, Corporate Communications
Ministry of Finance