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Parliamentary Replies

Working Mother's Child Relief

16 Jan 2012

Date: 16 January 2012

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance:

(a) what is the rationale for withdrawing the Working Mother's Child Relief for a working mother in respect of her son who has to disrupt his studies to enlist for National Service; and

(b) whether the Ministry will consider granting tax relief for working mothers whose sons enlist for National Service.

Reply by DPM and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam:

The Working Mother's Child Relief (or WMCR) is a gesture to recognise the efforts of working women in looking after their children. One of the eligible criteria for the relief is that the child must be financially dependent. A dependant (child) is one who does not have more than $4,000 of annual income.

It is unrelated to NS - whether serving NS, or working, or studying in an education institution while working part-time; a child who has income above $4,000 a year will not qualify as a dependant for the purpose of claiming the relief.

The income threshold for the relief was only recently raised from $2,000 to $4,000 in Year of Assessment 2010. My Ministry will review the income threshold from time to time.