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The Straits Times (1 Apr 2022) : 950,000 HDB households to receive GSTV - U-Save rebates in April

01 Apr 2022

Wallace Woon

About 950,000 households living in Housing Board flats will receive their quarterly Goods and Services Tax (GST) Voucher U-Save rebates in April, the first payout of the fiscal year.

The total rebates each eligible household will receive in FY2022 range from $440 to $760, depending on the HDB flat type.

They will be given in four tranches - in April, July and October this year, and January 2023. The payments are meant to help lower- and middle-income Singaporeans offset their GST and utility bills.

The Government has been giving out GST Vouchers in three components - cash, MediSave and U-Save for utilities - since 2012. From FY2022, the service and conservancy charges (S&CC) rebate will be a component of the scheme.

For this financial year, households will receive double the U-Save payments, which come in the form of rebates in utility bills.

For those residing in one- and two-room flats, the rebate amounts to about eight to 10 months of utility bills. For those living in three- and four-room flats, the rebate works out to about four to six months of utility bills, said MOF.

The payouts, totalling $720 million, were announced at Budget 2022 in February and are part of the enhanced permanent GST Voucher scheme and the Household Support Package. It was also made known that GST will be raised by 1 percentage point a year over the next two years, from 7 per cent to 9 per cent.

Households in one- or two-room flats will receive two U-Save payments of $95 each in April, while those living in three-room flats will receive two payments of $85.

People living in four-room flats will get $75 for each payment, and five-room flat dwellers will get $65. Those living in executive or multi-generational units will receive two $55 payments.

MOF said that those who own more than one property remain ineligible under the GST Voucher- U-Save scheme.

In the fiscal year 2021, the Government disbursed $460 million through the scheme, including special payments to support households during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The payments are a welcome relief for those eligible.

Fernvale resident Jolie Lee, 59, said the U-Save vouchers would make her monthly utility bill even more affordable.

"As my children have all moved out, my bill is quite low, at about $15 a month before the rebates. The S&CC vouchers will definitely be more useful to me as I can save on some of the monthly $83 payments," said Madam Lee.

Freelance photographer Daniel Hakim, 34, said the GST Vouchers were a lifeline. The resident of a four-room flat in Tampines said: “Over the course of the pandemic, my income has been affected, so having the rebates on our utilities takes a load off our shoulders and keeps us going.”