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Parliamentary Replies

Data on Support Schemes Not Received and Feedback on Erroneous Disbursement of Payouts

07 Feb 2024

Parliamentary Question by Ms Hazel Poa:

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance (a) for the past three years, how many individuals or households were eligible for support schemes which benefits were meant to be automatically disbursed but did not receive the support; (b) how many complaints or appeals were made concerning suspected erroneous payouts including fraud cases; and (c) whether there were any cases in the last five years where additional benefits were found to be erroneously disbursed to those not eligible.

Parliamentary Reply by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Mr Lawrence Wong: 

Social support schemes which disburse benefits automatically make use of administrative data available to the Government to disburse the benefits accurately. 

In 2023, there were about 20,000 enquiries and appeals for the GST Voucher scheme. The vast majority of disbursements are accurate. But adjustments were made to the amount disbursed for some cases, due to changes in the individuals’ latest circumstances.  

We strive to keep our data accurate and updated. But there is a small proportion of cases where adjustments have to be made. These are discovered through internal audits, audits by the Auditor-General, and also feedback from the public. For example, in its FY2021/2022 report, the Auditor-General’s Office identified 3,166 ineligible HDB households who received the GST Voucher – U-Save, or about 0.3% out of more than 950,000 eligible households. In such cases, we would rectify the errors and do a thorough review to tighten our operational processes.

We have also encountered a small number of cases of erroneous payouts due to fraud. The Government remains committed to upholding high standards of accountability and integrity. We have zero tolerance for fraud. Any potential offences will be thoroughly investigated and referred to the Police if there are grounds to do so.