SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/ANN): Cash payouts announced in Budget 2020 last month will be tripled, with all adult Singaporeans receiving S$300, $600 or $900 depending on their income, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said on Thursday (March 26).
The amount for parents with at least one Singaporean child aged 20 and younger this year will also go up to $300, from $100 before.
Today, many Singaporeans are worried about how they will pay bills and household expenses if their livelihoods are affected, given the uncertainty.
"We will put more cash in the hands of all families to help them cope," Heng said in delivering the Supplementary Budget.
Low-income Singaporeans, originally slated to get $100 a year in grocery vouchers over 2020 and 2021, will now have this year's allowance increased to $300. This means that they get a total of $400 in grocery vouchers over this year and the next.
Heng added that the $100 PAssion Card top-up for seniors, announced during his earlier speech, will also be given in cash instead. They will get their money directly in their designated bank accounts.
"This is to avoid the need to queue at top-up stations during this period," he said.
The Workfare Special Payment for lower-income workers will also be increased to $3,000 in cash each, Heng said. Originally, these workers were to receive payouts amounting to 20 per cent of their Workfare Income Supplement payout last year.
Besides the cash payouts and rebates to families, the Government will also double the $10 million grant to self-help groups over two years so that they can help more families.
The five Community Development Councils, which run schemes to meet the needs of families in their areas, will also get $75 million, up from $20 million before.
All these measures are part of the $1.6 billion Care and Support package announced during last month's Budget. The package will now cost a total of $4.6 billion.
The Government will also freeze all government fees and charges for one year, starting from April and ending March 31 next year. - The Straits Times/Asia News Network