Budget 2017: How individuals and households will be affected
HELP FOR FAMILIES
- Married couples hoping to own their first homes will get an enhanced grant if buying a Housing Board resale flat. This could come up to $110,000, if applicant is eligible for additional CPF Housing Grant and Proximity Housing Grant.
- Infant care places will increase to over 8,000 by 2020.
- About 12,000 more Singaporean students will benefit from enhanced bursaries in post-secondary education institutions as income eligibility is revised. This will be up to $400 more for undergrads, up to $350 more for polytechnic students, and up to $200 more for Institute of Technical Education students.
HIGHER WATER PRICES
To encourage water conservation and sustain supply, its price will go up by 30 per cent in two phases - this July and July 2018.
To offset the rise, eligible HDB households will get additional U-Save rebates. With these, 75 per cent of HDB households will end up paying less than $12 more a month.
HELP TO OFFSET HIGHER LIVING COSTS
- About 1.3 million Singaporeans will receive GST Vouchers. Those above 21 and earning less than $28,000 a year will get either $500 or $250 in cash, depending on the annual value of their homes.
- Permanent increase in rebate for HDB households, depending on flat type, to soften the impact of increase in water prices. (See chart above.)
- Help to pay for service and conservancy charges will be extended. HDB households will get 3.5 months to 1.5 month in rebates, depending on flat type.
- Middle-income earners will pay lower personal income tax, with 20 per cent rebate of tax payable for 2017, capped at $500.
Moves to help the community
LINETTE HENG looks at the support for the community in Budget 2017.
COMMUNITY HELP FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
Third Enabling Masterplan aimed at integrating persons with disabilities into workforce and giving more support to caregivers. Including existing initiatives, it will cost about $400 million a year. Training programmes extended to students with moderate intellectual and multiple disabilities to prepare them for workforce.A caregiver support centre to be set up to provide information, planned respite, training and peer support groups.
COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH ENHANCED
Health Ministry will provide mental health care services at polyclinics.
National Council for Social Services will lead efforts to integrate people with mental health issues at the workplace and in wider society.. The number of dementia-friendly communities will be expanded. An additional $160 million in next five years to be spent as part of community mental health efforts.
Over $50 million set aside to support community sports for all Singaporeans. There will be an additional $50 million in grants over five years for aspiring athletes. Another $50 million will match sports donations dollar-for-dollar.
Additional funding for VWOs and charities of up to $100 million over 5 years. Additional $6 million grant to Self-Help Groups over next two years.