U-Save rebate; More aid for the less well-off

SINGAPORE - Mr Ivan Goh ("Base U-Save rebate on household size"; Aug 19) felt the GST Voucher - U-Save should be based on the number of persons living in a flat.

The GST Voucher scheme helps lower- and middle-income Singaporean households with their expenses.

A larger amount of GST Voucher - U-Save is given to those living in smaller HDB flats because these households are, on average, less well-off than those in larger HDB flats.

The GST Voucher - U-Save is given to a household rather than to individuals.

While it would be ideal to take into account the number of household members and how much they earn, it would be intrusive and administratively complex to do so for a scheme involving 800,000 HDB flats.

While flat type is not a perfect indication of a household's means, it is a reasonable proxy and enables the Government to disburse household benefits on a timely basis.

There are other benefits that, taken together, provide more help to those with larger households. For example, households with more elderly persons will receive more GST Voucher - Medisave.

Those with more low-wage workers will receive more GST Voucher - Cash and Workfare. Children from lower-income families can benefit from financial assistance and bursaries.

We will continue to further review and refine how to target government assistance to ensure that the schemes and rebates reach the households that need more help.

Lim Bee Khim (Ms)

Director, Corporate Communications

Ministry of Finance

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