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Parliamentary Replies

Appeals to Receive Pioneer Generation Package

08 Sep 2014
Date: 8 September 2014
Parliamentary Question by Ms Lee Li Lian:

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance (a) whether he can provide an update on the progress of criteria set for people who wish to appeal to be a recipient of the Pioneer Generation Package; and (b) what are the procedures put in place for such appeal cases.

Reply by DPM and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam:
Since the Appeals Panel was set up in April this year, it has carefully considered the criteria for assessing appeals.

For citizenship-related appeals, the Panel has been considering each case on its own merits, taking into account all relevant factors. These factors include whether the appellant had been in Singapore in the early years of independence, had contributed to society and demonstrated clear efforts to sink roots in Singapore, and had obtained Singapore citizenship shortly after the 1986 cut-off date.

On age-related appeals, the Panel noted that the Government has already adopted a more inclusive approach by extending the Pioneer Generation Package to all those born in 1949 or earlier. Having deliberated on the matter extensively, the Panel recognised that for any age criterion, there will be those who marginally fall short of the criteria. It hence decided that it was not feasible or fair to allow age-related appeals without extending the new age criterion to all Singaporeans.

The Panel also took into account the range of healthcare benefits that all older Singaporeans will enjoy, such as MediShield Life premium subsidies and Long Term Care subsidies. In particular, Singaporeans aged 55 years and above who are not members of the Pioneer Generation will also enjoy additional Medisave top-ups for the next five years.

For these reasons, the Panel has decided it could not accede to appeals on the basis that the appellants’ birth dates marginally missed the eligibility date.

The Member also asked about the procedures put in place for appeal cases. The Panel, which is supported by a secretariat, verifies and reviews the supporting information and documents for each case and contacts appellants for further verification if necessary. The Panel meets regularly to make a decision on appeals.