Helping the Lion to roar

Helping the Lion to roar

CHILDCARE AND EDUCATION

 -  Full-day childcare services at centres under the Ministry of Social and Family Development's (MSF) partner operator scheme will cost a maximum of $800 a month.

This scheme will complement the existing anchor operator scheme and is expected to serve 50 per cent of preschool children by 2020.

 -  All secondary schools will develop an Applied Learning Programme by 2017. These programmes will connect academic knowledge and hands-on training.

 -  Better career planning for students, with a structured Education and Career Guidance (ECG) system and trained ECG counsellors in school.

 -  Enhanced internships for half of all Institute of Technical Education (ITE) courses and two-thirds of all polytechnic courses over the next two years, and for all ITE and polytechnic courses by 2020.

 -  National exam fees will be waived for all students in government schools and madrasahs.

 - There will be top-ups to Edusave and Post-Secondary Education Accounts.

 - Needy students under the Ministry of Education (MOE) Financial Assistance Scheme will also receive an annual $120 transport subsidy on top of free textbooks and uniforms.

 - The MSF will build a better early intervention system to cater to special needs children under six years old. This will come in the form of common evaluation tools and improved hiring of therapists and teachers.

 - All primary schools will offer School-based Dyslexia Remediation programmes by 2016.

 - Anchor operators will develop bigger childcare centres, which will provide 2,400 more places over the next few years.

JOBS

 - A 12- to 18-month Earn and Learn programme for fresh graduates from polytechnics and ITEs. To be implemented progressively by sector from this year, the work-study programme will eventually benefit one in three polytechnic and ITE graduates.

 - SkillsFuture credit of $500 for all Singaporeans aged 25 and above to enrol in work skills-related courses approved by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) and MOE.

 - A bond-free $5,000 SkillsFuture award for those who want to hone their skills in future economic growth sectors or in sectors meeting social needs.

 - Those above 40 will get additional subsidies for courses - a subsidy of at least 90 per cent for courses by the WDA and MOE.

HEALTH

 - At least 1,700 beds will be added with the opening of two new general hospitals - Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, which will open by July, and Sengkang General Hospital, which will open by 2018.

 - There will be four new community hospitals in Jurong, Yishun, Sengkang and Outram by 2020.

 - There will be a new polyclinic in Bukit Panjang, and the Yishun and Marine Parade Polyclinics will be redeveloped.

 - Construction on two new polyclinics in Jurong West and Punggol will begin later this year. They are scheduled for completion by 2017.

 - Four new conditions - epilepsy, osteoporosis, psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis - will be covered by the Community Health Assist Scheme and Medisave from June.

RETIREMENT

 - A one-to-one retirement planning service will be available to CPF members to help them better understand the various CPF options and decide on the option best suited for their individual needs and circumstances.

 - A new Basic Healthcare Sum - $49,800 for 2016 - will replace the Medisave Contribution Ceiling from next year. This is the amount needed for basic, subsidised healthcare in retirement and it will be adjusted yearly. The amount will be fixed for your life once you reach 65 years old. There will be no need to top up your Medisave Account to reach the Basic Healthcare Sum if you wish to withdraw your CPF savings upon or after turning 55.

 - From the first quarter of next year, lower income elderly - up to 30 per cent of seniors - will receive a quarterly payout of between $350 and $750 under the Silver Support Scheme. It is aimed at those with lower total CPF contributions, those whose households have lower incomes, and those who are staying in five-room HDB flats and smaller.


This article was first published on Mar 16, 2015.
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