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Parliamentary Replies

Better Support for Families With Special Needs Children

09 May 2022

Parliamentary Question by Miss Cheryl Chan Wei Ling:

To ask the Minister for Finance to better support families with special needs children (a) whether there are plans to consider other qualifying tax reliefs, benefits and exemptions in addition to the Handicapped Child Relief (HCR); and (b) whether there are plans to raise the amount of relief under HCR to better reflect the average annual care cost of a child with special needs.

Parliamentary Reply by Minister for Finance, Mr Lawrence Wong:

The Government is committed to supporting families with special needs children.

The Qualifying Child Relief (QCR) and Handicapped Child Relief (HCR) are provided as recognition for parents in supporting their children, and are not intended to defray the costs of raising children. Apart from these tax reliefs, there are various schemes that more directly offset the cost of services to support children with special needs, with more subsidies given to those with greater needs. These include early intervention programmes such as the Early Intervention Programme for Infants and Children and publicly funded Special Education schools for students with moderate-to severe special needs.

We continue to support individuals with special needs through adulthood. Work capable Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) can receive employment support through the 35 Enabling Employment Credit (EEC) and Open Door Programme (ODP) that provides wage offsets and grants or other employment support services to those who hire PwDs. Those who are unable to work can attend subsidised programmes at Day Activity

The Government remains committed to support those with special needs, through regular reviews of our policies. The new Enabling Masterplan 2030 will be launched by the Ministry of Family and Social Development later this year, as part of a continuing journey to build a more inclusive society in Singapore.