Heard the Singapore Budget 2020 buzz but not sure how it affects you, mama? From reduced school fees to grocery vouchers, here’s how the new measures will help families in Singapore in the year ahead
We did the heavy lifting so you don’t have to — in addition to the GST hike not being implemented in 2021 (and a nice little GST voucher to boot!), keep scrolling to learn more about how the measures just announced in the Singapore Budget 2020 apply to Singaporean and permanent resident (PR) mamas, dads and children.
1. Cash Payouts: Coronavirus Outbreak & GST Vouchers
To ease families’ burdens – including healthcare costs, lost wages, or additional childcare expenses – the Coronavirus Outbreak Care and Support Package will benefit all Singaporeans aged 21 and older.
Expect a one-off cash payout of $100, $200 or $300 per person (aged 21+) in 2020, depending on your income in 2019 and home ownership. Parents with one or more Singaporean children aged 20 and younger in 2020 will also each receive an additional $100 in cash (that’s $100 each for Mom and Dad) — we think most Sassy Mama readers fall into that group!
Live in a multi-generational household? Singaporeans aged 50 and older in 2020 will receive a $100 top-up to their PAssion cards. This can be used for public transport, activities and facilities at Community Clubs, groceries and payments to any other EZ-link merchants.
All Singaporeans aged 21 and older who live in one- or two-room HDB flats and do not own more than one property will also receive $100 in grocery vouchers in 2020 and 2021.
Double the GST Voucher
All eligible HDB households will also get double their regular GST Voucher – U-Save rebate in the 2020 financial year, which ends in March 2021, through a one-off special payment (check your eligibility here!). Eligible households with five or more members will receive 2.5x their usual rebate.
Eligible Singaporean households living in HDB flats will also receive rebates to offset 1.5 to 3.5 months of service and conservancy charges over the year. That’s up to over three months of free service and conservancy charges a year!
Even non-Singaporeans get a little boost, as the government announced that it would not increase GST from 7% to 9% in 2021 as originally planned. Note that the increased GST will be in place by 2025, however (so spend while you can, mamas!).
2. More Assistance & Subsidies for School Fees & School Meals
Currently just over half of the preschools in Singapore are government-supported preschools, but by 2025 the share of government-supported preschools will climb to 80%. This will mean more preschools receiving government funding, and parents being able to place their children in a bigger pool of eligible preschools with affordable school fees. Click here for more information on subsidised school fees and fee cap information.
Local Secondary Schools, Pre-university & Institutes of Higher Education:
- All students will get higher transport subsidies, and for secondary school students, more school meal subsidies.
- Pre-university students from lower-income families will get up to $1,000 under the Education Ministry’s Financial Assistance Scheme, raised from $900 previously.
- Full-time Institute of Technical Education (ITE) students from the lowest-income families will now receive a 100% fee subsidy from Academic Year 2020.
3. $500 SkillsFuture credit top-up for Singaporeans aged 25 and older
Now would be the perfect time to learn a new skill thanks to the $500 SkillsFuture credit top-up for every Singaporean aged 25 and older. Eligible for use from 1 October 2020 and expiring by December 2025, Singaporeans are encouraged to make use of the current economic slowdown to attend available courses under the SkillsFuture scheme. From coding to cupcake-baking to learning Japanese, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of courses available; click here to browse the amazing course catalogue. P.S. Those aged 40 to 60 will also get another top-up of $500!
4. Battle Climate Change: A Greener Future for our Kids
- To protect Singapore against rising sea levels, a Coastal and Flood Protection Fund will be set up with an initial injection of $5 billion.
- HDB flats will also have a new Green Towns Programme, to reduce energy consumption, recycle rainwater, and cool the towns. This landmark initiative also features “Greening community facilities” like playgrounds and open lawns for free play, and is a great opportunity to teach kiddos about the value and importance of nature and community engagement.
Encouraging Electric Vehicles
All vehicles with internal combustion engines will be phased out by 2040. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) will introduce the Electric Vehicle (EV) Early Adoption Incentive, with a rebate of up to 45% on the additional registration fee for those buying fully electric cars and taxis. This will commence from January 2021 to December 2023. EVs and some hybrid vehicles will also be taxed less. By 2030, the Government aims to deploy up to 28,000 public charging points for EVs, up from 1,600 currently.
Read more: The Best 7-Seater Family Cars in Singapore
5. Jobs Support Scheme for Employers in SG (including locally registered mama-owned businesses!)
Mamapreneurs in Singapore — good news! The Jobs Support Scheme by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) will help to offset 8% of the wages of every Singaporean or PR employee for three months, up to a monthly cap of $3,600. The grant will be computed based on CPF contribution data. Employers can expect to receive the JSS payment from IRAS by 31 July 2020. Check the Employer Exclusion List here.
For more on all the new measures announced in the Singapore Budget 2020, visit www.singaporebudget.gov.sg/budget_2020