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Singaporeans To Receive $256 Million More In Benefits In 2008

18 Aug 2008

To further help low and middle-income Singaporeans at a time of higher costs of living, the Government will be distributing an additional support package amounting to $256 million. The enhancements comprise a 50% increase in the remaining installment of Growth Dividends (GD) and a 50% increase in the total amount of Utilities-Save (U-Save) rebates to be given out in Fiscal Year (FY) 2008.

2. The average Singaporean household can expect to receive an additional $250-$330 with these enhancements, on top of the benefits they are already receiving. Elderly households and lower income households will typically get more, depending on the number of adults in the household.

Enhanced second installment of Growth Dividends (GD)

3. The second installment of GD, inclusive of the 50% enhancement, will be given out as scheduled on 1 October 20081. The enhanced GD will cost the Government an additional $190 million. Most Singaporeans living in HDB households will receive between $75 and $150 more, individually, as a result of the enhancement. As before, the GD each eligible person receives will depend on their annual income and the annual value of their home, as shown in Table 1 below.

Table 1 – Enhanced Growth Dividends for FY2008

  

Annual Value of Home as at 31 December 2007

Income in Year of Assessment 2007

 

$5,000 or less

(1R, 2R, and 3R HDB flats)

$5,001 to $10,000

(4R, 5R, exec flats and some private properties)

More than $10,000

(Most private properties)

$24,000 or less

$500

($200/$300)


For those 60 and above:

$750

($300/$450)

$375

($150/$225)


For those 60 and above:

$562

($225/$337)

$187

($75/$112)


For those 60 and above:

$281

($113/$168)

$24,401 to $100,000

  

More than $100,000

$125

($50/$75)

Figures in brackets show the first installment of the Growth Dividends and enhanced second installment of the Growth Dividends announced at National Day Rally respectively.

4. Singaporeans who have received their GST Credits/Senior Citizens' Bonus and their first installment of GD will automatically receive the second installment of GD, inclusive of the 50% enhancement, on 1 October 2008. You do not need to sign up again to qualify for the enhanced GD. You can log on with your SingPass at http://www.growthdividends.gov.sg or www.gstoffset.gov.sg from 8 September 2008 to find out your revised GD allotment. Those who have not signed up for their GST Credits/Growth Dividends can do so online at above-mentioned websites or by hardcopy forms available at CPF Service Centre, Community Centres/Clubs and Community Development Councils. You have until 31 December 2008 to do so.

5. If you wish to donate your second installment of GD, you may do so online via the same websites by 23 September 2008. Further information on the GD and the GST Credits/Senior Citizens' Bonus can be found on these websites or by calling our hotline at 1800-2222-888.

Additional Utilities-Save (U-Save) rebates for HDB households

6. HDB households will receive an increased U-Save rebate in November 2008 ranging from an additional $40 to $110 depending on their flat type. This is a 50% increase on the amount of U-Save rebates to be given out in FY2008 (April 2008- Mar 2009). The additional U-Save rebates will cost the Government $66 million.

7. Eligible households will automatically receive the additional U-Save rebates which will be credited into their SingPower Services utility accounts in November 2008. The current and new U-Save rebates for eligible households are shown in Table 2 below. Un-utilised rebates can be rolled over. Households that conserve electricity, gas or water will see their U-Save rebates offset their utility bills for a longer period of time.

Table 2 – Additional U-Save Rebates in FY2008

DB Flat Type

Existing FY2008 Rebate*

Additional rebate given in November 2008

Total Rebate given in FY2008

1 room

$220

$110

$330

2 room

$220

$110

$330

3 room

$200

$100

$300

4 room

$190

$95

$285

5 room

$120

$60

$180

Exec

$80

$40

$120

*Given in two equal payments in July 2008 and January 2009

Enhanced benefits to help households cope with increase in cost of living

8. These additional benefits will supplement the significant surplus-sharing schemes for Singaporeans announced in Budget 2008.

9. For example, a low-income family with elderly members, living in a 3-room HDB flat, could receive an additional $500, bringing their total benefits this year to over $5,400 (see Annex A). A typical middle-income family living in a 5-room HDB flat could receive benefits of about $3,880 (see Annex B).

10. Singaporeans can use the Household Benefits Calculator, available online at www.mof.gov.sg/benefitscalculator, to find out the amount of benefits that they will receive in FY2008 (see Annex C).

11. Singaporeans who may be facing financial stress and need additional help can approach their Community Development Councils, Family Service Centres, or their grassroots leaders. Grassroots leaders administer the Citizens Consultative Committee ComCare Fund, which enables them to provide immediate assistance to needy families in financial difficulties. Singaporeans who need help can also call the ComCare Call helpline at 1800 - 222 0000.

MINISTRY OF FINANCE
18 AUGUST 2008