CDC vouchers can be used at 5 supermarket chains
Every Singaporean household can now claim $300 of Community Development Council (CDC) vouchers, of which half or $150 must be used at participating supermarkets.
The five supermarket chains that accept the CDC vouchers are NTUC Fairprice, Sheng Siong, Prime, Hao Mart and U Star, which together have over 300 outlets across the island.
The other $150 worth of vouchers can be used at some 20,300 hawkers and heartland merchants.
The vouchers are part of a comprehensive package to cushion the effects of elevated inflation and the goods and services tax (GST) rate increase, Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong said on Tuesday at a launch event at Kampong Admiralty.
Mr Wong said that following the first two tranches of CDC vouchers, the Government had received feedback from many Singaporeans asking for flexibility to spend them on groceries at supermarkets.
At the same time, there were concerns from several participating heartland shop owners and hawkers on the potential impact if the vouchers be extended to use at supermarkets, as the scheme had originally been conceived of to help heartland businesses, he added.
That is why after careful consideration, the Government decided that the vouchers be split into two parts: half to still be set aside for heartland shops and hawkers, and the other half for supermarkets.
The vouchers are colour-coded - teal for heartland merchants and yellow for supermarkets.
“I hope all of you enjoy the added convenience of this set of vouchers,” said Mr Wong. “They will expire on Dec 31, 2023, or the end of this year, so do remember to use your vouchers before then and encourage your family and neighbours to do the same.”
Mr Wong said that besides the vouchers, the Government is providing assistance to Singaporeans in many different ways, such as up to $700 in cash payouts in December 2022 and the next round of U-save rebates later in January to to help households offset their utility bills.
There will also be cash payouts and MediSave top-ups for eligible seniors and children in February, he added.
Mr Wong, who is also Finance Minister, said his ministry is now working on Budget 2023, which he will deliver on February 14.
“We recognise concerns over cost of living, and hence are looking at additional measures in the Budget to support Singaporeans over the coming year, especially those in the more vulnerable and lower-income groups,” he said.
The latest tranche of CDC vouchers comprise $200 in vouchers announced at Budget 2022 under the Assurance Package to offset the GST hike, and an additional $100 in vouchers under the $1.5 billion Support Package announced in October 2022.
About 1.2 million Singaporean households will receive a notification letter in their mailbox from Tuesday with details on how to claim and spend $300 in CDC vouchers.
Residents can claim their vouchers in a similar way to previous tranches. One member of each household will need to visit go.gov.sg/cdcv and login with his or her Singpass account to claim the vouchers. A CDC voucher link will be sent to the registered mobile phone number of the claimant, who can then share it with other household members via a link.
The CDC Vouchers Scheme 2023 will continue to be digital. SG Digital Office digital ambassadors will be deployed at the SG Digital Community Hubs to provide assistance, and more than 50 Silver Infocomm Wellness Ambassadors will also be providing support at selected community clubs.
South West District Mayor Low Yen Ling, who was also at the launch, said that the total possible spending of the vouchers for use at heartland shops and hawkers is $186 million, which is more than the previous tranche of the scheme.
As of Dec 31 2022, more than $115 million was spent in the 2021 CDC vouchers, while some $113 million was spent in 2022, said Ms Low.
“We trust that in 2023, Singaporeans will continue to support our local businesses with their patronage,” she said.
The 20,300 merchants and hawkers now onboard the scheme is also more than double the number when the digital CDC Vouchers scheme was launched in late 2021, she added.
When contacted, Mr Vipul Chawla, Group CEO of FairPrice Group told The Straits Times: “FairPrice renews our commitment to moderate the cost of living as we welcome the new year by seeking new ways to help the community save more.
“Apart from participating in the 2023 CDC Vouchers scheme, we are taking an extra step to also provide additional FairPrice vouchers for customers to purchase their daily essentials.”
A Sheng Siong spokesperson told ST that the release of the CDC vouchers during this period of inflation will definitely be a great help for all businesses. Besides extending its 4 per cent senior citizen discount till year-end, it has also rolled out a 1 per cent discount on most purchases in its stores from Jan 1 to March 31 to provide consumers with some assistance through this period.
Mr Alan Lee, 50, who owns Geylang Lor 20 Banana Fritters at Old Airport Road food centre, said three to 10 of his customers used the CDC vouchers daily in 2022.
“After the Covid-19 pandemic, many of my old customers have disappeared. However, I have also seen many new and young patrons who have started coming here, and they use a variety of payment options, including e-payments and CDC vouchers,” he told ST.
Mdm Quek Gek Kiang, who lives in a four room flat in Hougang, said: ”The vouchers are very timely to ease my financial worries as things have become more expensive lately.”
The 83-year-old retiree will be spending the vouchers on basic necessities like groceries and toiletries.
Ms Emily Yap, a 23-year-old nurse at Alexandra Hospital, will be using her vouchers for a good cause. She will be using her vouchers to buy kueh bangkit from her neighbourhood bakery for Chinese New Year.
The biscuits will be part of the 50 care packs that she is giving to the elderly and needy families living in Clementi Meadows. Each care pack is worth about $80 and filled with other essential groceries like cooking oil and rice sponsored by Temasek Foundation and other donors.
“ I am concerned about the needs of the elderly and needy families, especially in these difficult times of rising inflation and higher costs of living,” she said.