During the Budget 2023 statement in February this year, Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong announced a suite of support measures to allay inflation concerns. He said that these measures were to help Singaporeans tide through this period of higher inflation and cushion the impact of the new GST rates.
"On average, for lower-income households, the enhancements will fully cover the increases in spending due to inflation and the GST rate increase; and for middle-income households, the enhancements will substantially cover their increases in spending," he said.
Highlighting the global situation, he urged Singaporeans to become more productive and competitive. "Countries are now relooking and adjusting their supply chains.
Instead of buying from the cheapest, they are prepared to accept lower efficiency and higher costs to prioritise diversification and strategic resilience. These trends are pushing up inflation everywhere, including Singapore," he added.
So what sort of payouts are in store for us?
Coming to terms: Understanding the GSTV, Assurance Package, COL & more
There are a couple of different umbrella terms for these categories of government payouts that were announced, so here’s a quick run-through of the terms before we proceed further.
GSTV Voucher sScheme (GSTV)
This is a permanent scheme introduced in Budget 2012 that seeks to help lower- and middle-income Singaporean households with their expenses, especially what they pay in GST.
There are four components to the GSTV:
- Cash (immediate needs)
- MediSave (for seniors’ medical needs)
- U-Save (to offset utilities bills)
- Service & Conservancy Charges (S&CC) Rebate (offsets the monthly fees that households pay for the maintenance and upkeep of their common property in the HDB estate)
Assurance Package (AP)
A $6 million AP was announced in Budget 2020 to cushion the impact of the planned GST increase for all Singaporeans.
Later, in Budget 2022, the AP was enhanced with a $640 million top-up by the government, so that the majority of Singaporean households would receive offsets to cover at least five years' worth of additional GST expenses (it's about 10 years' worth for lower-income households).
Recently, in Budget 2023, the AP was further enhanced to $9.6 billion (that's about $3 billion more) so that it could continue to help most Singaporean households offset additional GST expenses even during these times of higher inflation.
These are the main components of the Assurance Package:
- Cash payments for all adult Singaporeans
- Additional cash for lower-income seniors
- Additional GST Voucher (U-Save)
- MediSave top-ups for children and seniors
- Community Development Council (CDC) Vouchers for Singaporean households
Cost-of-Living (COL) Special Payment
The COL Special Payment was introduced as an additional one-off support measure in Budget 2023 to address Singaporeans' lingering concerns about the immediate cost-of-living issues. There is also a Cost-of-Living Seniors' Bonus. COL comes under the umbrella of the Assurance Package.
Government payouts 2023: What can we expect for the rest of the year?
|Month (2023)||Scheme||Who is eligible?||How much will I receive?|
|September||Child Development Account Top-Up||For households with children aged 6 and below in 2023||$400 to their Child Development Account; children above 6 will get a top-up of $300 to their Edusave account or Post-Secondary Education Account.|
|October||U-Save||Singaporean households living in HDB flats||S$110-190|
|S&CC Rebates||0.5-1 month of monthly fees that households pay for the maintenance and upkeep of their common property in the HDB estate|
|December||Cash||Singaporeans aged 21 years and above; cash amount depending on his/her income and property ownership||S$200-600|
To get more information and to check your eligibility, check out this site that does it automatically for you. It also informs you when you will be paid.
What's been paid out so far?
From the above picture, we can see that In January 2023, each Singaporean household received $300 in CDC Vouchers. These e-vouchers can be used to purchase goods and services from participating hawkers and heartland merchants ($150), as well as participating supermarkets ($150). If you haven't done so, better redeem your CDC Vouchers here! You'll need to claim and spend them by Dec 31, 2023.
By the way, we can look forward to another $300 of CDC vouchers in January 2024!
There's also the usual quarterly U-Save and S&CC Rebates to offset our utilities bills and upkeep of our estate. These are part of the permanent GST Voucher Scheme that was again enhanced this year. So far, eligible households have received them for the months of January, April and July in 2023.
Adding to that are the COL U-Save Special Payment (April, July, October) and the Assurance Package (AP) U-Save (previously known as Additional GSTV — U-Save rebates), which were credited in January. These bring the total U-Save Rebates in 2023 to double what eligible households receive for regular GSTV — U-Save Rebates for that same year.
U-Save Rebates 2023 (GSTV, AP, COL)
|HDB Flat Type||January||April||July||October|
|1- and 2-room||$95 + $95||$95 + $95||$95 + $95||$95 + $95|
|3-room||$85 + $85||$85 + $85||$85 + $85||$85 + $85|
|4-room||$75 + $75||$75 + $75||$75 + $75||$75 + $75|
|5-room||$65 + $65||$65 + $65||$65 + $65||$65 + $65|
|Executive/ Multi-Gen||$55 + $55||$55 + $55||$55 + $55||$55 + $55|
S&CC Rebates 2023
|HDB Flat Type||January||April||July||October|
|1- and 2-room||0.5 month||1 month||1 month||1 month|
|3- and 4-room||0.5 month||1 month||0.5 month||0.5 month|
|5-room||0.5 month||0.5 month||0.5 month||0.5 month|
|Executive/ Multi-Gen||–||0.5 month||0.5 month||0.5 month|
In February 2023, eligible lower-income senior Singapore citizens received the first of the cash payouts of $600 to $900 under the Assurance Package (AP) Seniors' Bonus, previously known as GSTV - Cash (Seniors' Bonus). This AP Seniors' Bonus will again be disbursed in February 2024 and February 2025.
Assurance Package (AP) seniors' bonus
|Payment Year||Annual Value of property up to $13k||Annual Value of property more than $13k, up to $21k|
|55 to 64 years||65 years and above||55 years and above|
You can check the Annual Value of your property on IRAS myTax Portal by logging in using your SingPass.
February also saw eligible Singaporeans aged 20 years and below, as well as those 55 years and above, receiving the first of their Assurance Package (AP) MediSave payouts. The next payments will be in February 2024 and February 2025, up to a total of $450.
Following that was the special payment in June, in which about 2.5 million Singaporeans were eligible for a one-off cash payout of between $200 and $400 to defray their cost of living, as part of the 2023 Cost-of-Living (COL) Special Payment and Cost-of-Living (COL) Seniors' Bonus.