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Parliamentary Replies

Extending Working Mother's Child Relief and Foreign Maid Levy Reliefs To Single Mothers

20 Jan 2015

Date: 20 January 2015

Parliamentary Question by Mr Seah Kian Peng:

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance whether the Working Mother's Child Relief and Foreign Maid Levy Relief can be extended to taxpayers who are single mothers and, if so, what is the estimated tax savings for this group of taxpayers.

Reply by DPM and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam:

1. The Government provides support and a range of benefits to families for the care of children at different stages of a child’s development, in areas such as childcare, healthcare and education. A number of these benefits are provided regardless of their parents’ marital status and extend to single mothers.  These include centre-based infant and child care subsidies, MediSave grants for newborns and MediShield coverage for congenital and neonatal conditions.

2. The Working Mother’s Child Relief and the Foreign Maid Levy Relief which Mr Seah asked about are intended to support married women who remain in the workforce and raise their children within the context of marriage. They reflect the prevailing societal norm where marriage is the first step towards family formation.

3. The tax savings arising from both reliefs would depend on the individual circumstances of the taxpayer. As single parents currently do not claim for these tax reliefs, we do not have sufficient data such as on whether they have children who are studying full-time and their incomes if the children are working, to accurately estimate the tax savings arising from the reliefs.