Combined with what was announced in Budget 2023, about 2.5mn Singaporeans will receive up to S$800 in cash this December, amongst other support measures in the coming months.
Singapore will be rolling out a S$1.1bn Cost-of-Living Support Package to provide more relief for Singaporean households, especially lower- to middle-income families.
Announced by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong on Thursday (28 September 2023), the package builds on the measures announced at Budget 2023. It will include a S$0.8bn enhancement to the Assurance Package (AP), bringing the overall AP amount to over S$10bn.
DPM Wong expressed: "I know that many Singaporeans are anxious about the overall economic outlook, the price increases, and the impact on their cost of living. The government is committed to supporting Singaporeans through these uncertain times."
The AP enhancements consist of four components.
Assurance Package (AP) Cash Special Payment
Around 2.5mn adult Singaporeans will receive a cash special payment of up to S$200 in December this year. Combined with what was in the Budget, they will receive up to S$800 in cash this December. Roughly about more than half of adult Singaporeans will receive the maximum amount of S$800.
Additional CDC vouchers
Every Singaporean household will be provided additional S$200 in CDC vouchers in January 2024. Combined with what was announced in the Budget, households will receive a total of S$500 worth of CDC vouchers in January. Per usual, it will be split equally; half goes to the participating heartland merchants and hawkers, and the other half can be spent at participating supermarkets. The CDC vouchers in 2024 can be claimed digitally from 3 January 2024 onwards.
The vouchers will expire in end-2024.
Additional Service & Conservancy Charges (S&CC) rebate
There will also be an additional one-off half month of S&CC rebate for 950,000 Singaporean HDB households in January next year. This will, on average, fully offset the S&CC increase in the first year of increases for one- to four- room flats, and about 85% for larger HDB flats.
Additional U-Save rebates
Lastly, there will also be an additional S$20 per quarter of U-Save rebates provided for eligible HDB households over 2024 to 2025, starting from January next year. This aims to cushion the impact of higher utility bills arising from the increases in water price, which PUB had announced, and also the upcoming increase in carbon tax.
Over 2024–2025, the additional U-Save rebates will, on average, fully offset the increase in utility bills for one- to two- room HDB flats, about 80% of the increase in utility bills for three- to four-room HDB flats, and about 65% of the increase in utility bills for larger flats.
Apart from the above, DPM Wong touched on public transport-related measures:
As announced by the Ministry of Transport last week, Singapore will provide additional public transport subsidies to moderate the fare increase implemented this year. The additional subsidies amount to S$300mn.
"That is why the overall package is S$1.1bn, because we have S$800mn for AP and S$300 million for public transport subsidies," DPM Wong highlighted.
In addition, there will be public transport vouchers (PTVs) worth S$50 each available for lower-income households with a monthly household income per person of not more than S$1,600.
The PTVs, which will be disbursed from end-December 2023, can be used to top up fare cards or buy monthly travel/concession passes.
"The measures in this latest support package will help Singaporeans cope with higher prices across various areas — from their daily necessities, to utilities, to public transport," DPM Wong affirmed.
Lead image & table / Ministry of Finance