Singapore, Ministry of Finance, Financial aid, support package, inflation, cost of living

This includes a cost-of-living Special Payment of up to S$500 cash for 2.5mn eligible adult Singaporeans.

Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong has announced a S$1.5bn support package to provide further cost of living relief for all households, with more support for lower- to middle-income groups.

The package builds on the support measures announced in Budget 2022, April 2022, and June 2022. The package will be funded from the fiscal out-turn in the first half of FY2022. According to the statement by the Ministry of Finance (MOF), the Omicron variant was "milder than expected, and more sectors of the economy had opened up in tandem, boosting economic recovery". There will be no draw on past reserves for this support package.

According to MOF, this new support package, together with earlier rounds of support measures rolled out this year, will fully cover the increase in the cost of living for lower-income households on average, and more than half of the increase in the cost of living for middle-income households on average this year.

A summary of the measures in the package is provided in the table below:

 Cost of Living (COL) Special Payment
  • Up to S$500 cash for 2.5mn eligible adult Singaporeans.
  • This payout will be disbursed in December 2022, together with the Assurance Package for GST cash payout announced at Budget 2022.
 CDC vouchers
  • Additional $100 CDC Vouchers for every Singaporean household in January 2023.
  • Total of S$300 CDC Vouchers in January 2023, including the S$200 CDC vouchers under the Assurance Package for GST announced at Budget 2022.
 Public transport subsidies
  • Additional subsidy of about S$200mn in 2023 to cover the 10.6%-point fare increase that will be carried over to future fare review exercises.
 Public transport vouchers (PTVs)
  • 600,000 PTVs worth S$30 each for resident households with monthly household income per person of not more than S$1,600.
 Ministry of Education’s  financial assistance schemes
  • Increase in income eligibility thresholds and enhancement to bursary quanta for full-time Institute of Technical Education (ITE) students in AY2023.

COL Special Payment: Eligible adult Singaporeans will receive up to S$500 cash. This payout will be disbursed in December 2022, together with the Assurance Package for GST cash payout announced at Budget 2022. Eligible individuals should have an assessable income for the year of assessment 2022 (YA2022) of S$100,000 and below, and should not own more than one property. MOF estimates that around 2.5mn Singaporeans will benefit from the COL Special Payment.

CDC vouchers: In January 2023, every Singaporean household will receive additional S$100 CDC vouchers. This will amount to a total of S$300 CDC Vouchers in January 2023, including the S$200 CDC vouchers announced at Budget 2022 under the Assurance Package for GST. The CDC Vouchers will be allocated equally for spending at both heartland shops and participating supermarkets. The Government is also working towards allowing the donation of CDC vouchers. More details will be provided subsequently.

Public transport subsidies and public transport vouchers: The Government will set aside about S$200mn in the October COL package to cover the 10.6%-point fare increase that will be carried over to future fare review exercises as announced by the Public Transport Council on 12 October 2022. This additional subsidy will help mitigate the impact of the fare increase on commuters and pay for the higher costs of providing public transport services due to the increase in energy prices, manpower costs, and inflation. To provide additional support for lower- to lower-middle-income households, 600,000 PTVs will be made available for resident households with a monthly household income per person of not more than S$1,600. Each PTV is worth S$30 and can be used to top up fare cards or buy monthly travel/concession passes.

MOE’s financial assistance schemes: MOE will be raising the income eligibility criteria for financial assistance schemes to defray school expenses for more students. This will take effect from 1 January 2023 for primary, secondary, and pre-university students, and from AY2023 for the government bursaries for post-secondary education institutions. The bursary quanta for full-time Institute of Technical Education (ITE) students will also be enhanced from AY2023, with those from lower-income households benefitting from the highest increase. These enhancements follow MOE’s announcement in August 2022 on increasing transport and meal subsidies for primary and secondary students under the MOE FAS and bursaries for pre-university students, which will also take effect from 1 January 2023.

MOE is reviewing the government bursaries for diploma and undergraduate students, and will share more details when ready.


Photo / Ministry of Finance infrographic

Follow us on Telegram and on Instagram @humanresourcesonline for all the latest HR and manpower news from around the region!