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Parliamentary Replies

Number of GST Voucher appeals from senior citizens who occupy residential addresses with annual valuation exceeding $21,000

09 Sep 2014
Date: 9 September 2014
Parliamentary Question by Mr David Ong Kim Huat:

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance over the last two years, what is the number of appeals received from senior citizens with qualifying income criteria and no ownership of any residential property but who do not qualify for GST Vouchers because their residential address as an occupier has an annual valuation of above $21,000.

Reply by DPM and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam:
The GST Voucher scheme is a broad-based scheme to help lower- and middle-income households with their expenses, in particular, what they pay in GST. The criteria for the GST Voucher – Cash takes into account an individual’s Assessable Income (AI), the Annual Value (AV) of his place of residence, and how many properties he owns.

We receive an average of 120 appeals a year from senior citizens (those aged 65 and above) who are below the income threshold and do not own any properties, but are living in properties with AVs exceeding $21,000. To put this in context, properties with AVs exceeding $21,000 make up the top 15% of owner-occupied homes in Singapore.

There is no perfect way of assessing a person's financial situation. However, a person living in a high-value property with his family is in general more likely to be supported by adequate family resources, even if he or she does not own the property. While there will certainly be exceptions, this approach is broadly equitable and progressive.

The Member can be assured that appeals by those who are unable to qualify for the GST Voucher but are in financial difficulty will be carefully considered. We will continue to review the GST Voucher from time to time, to ensure that it continues to reach those who need it most.