Citizens who stay in private property can get govt aid: Indranee Rajah, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Citizens who stay in private property can get govt aid: Indranee Rajah

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Citizens who live in private property can apply for government aid should they need help, Second Minister for Finance Indranee Rajah said in Parliament yesterday.

She cited broad-based schemes that are for all Singaporeans, regardless of the type of home they reside in.

These include education assistance and being able to go to polyclinics, as well as the Merdeka Generation Package to help citizens born in the 1950s with healthcare costs.

So, she said, it would be "too much of a generalisation to say that there is nothing for them at all in the Budget".

Ms Indranee was responding to Mr Lim Biow Chuan (Mountbatten SMC), who asked whether the Government could do more to help asset-rich but cash-poor Singaporeans.

Mr Lim cited residents' feedback and said a number of those in private homes felt that it was inequitable that they do not qualify for GST Vouchers, among other initiatives.

As a result, they feel disadvantaged because of their residence type, he said.

Ms Indranee said the Government also has more targeted schemes like GST Vouchers that subsidise the expenses of the lower-income group, besides broad-based schemes.

"The ones who don't benefit from the broad-based schemes, we would encourage them to apply (when they have) a genuine need because the system does allow for appeals and consideration of particular circumstances," she said. "They may have specific difficulties. We will address those on a case-by-case basis."

Mr Lim also asked for the number of Singaporeans who live in private property who do not have any declared income.

Ms Indranee, who is also Second Minister for Education and Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, said about 164,000 of these adult Singaporeans do not declare their income for the purpose of personal income tax.

The figure includes citizens who have retired with private savings, she added.

They tend not to have a yearly income or they have non-taxable income from their investments, she said, adding that some are also not required to file tax returns after deductions and reliefs.

Singapore Politics