Singapore

Cash payouts announced in Budget 2020 will be tripled: Heng

Cash payouts announced in Budget 2020 will be tripled, with every adult Singaporean getting $300, $600 or $900 depending on his or her income, said Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat yesterday.

The extra money for parents with at least one Singaporean child aged 20 and younger this year will also go up from $100 to $300.

"Many Singaporeans are concerned about how they will pay their bills and household expenses if their livelihoods are affected during this uncertain period," Mr Heng told Parliament. "We will put more cash in the hands of all families to help them cope."

These changes are part of the expanded Care and Support Package in the supplementary budget, delivered yesterday by Mr Heng. The package originally cost $1.6 billion, but will now cost $4.6 billion.

Apart from cash for households, the enhanced package includes more grocery vouchers for the needy and topped-up grants for self-help groups.

Low-income Singaporeans, who were slated to get $100 a year in grocery vouchers for this year and the next, will now have this year's allowance bumped up to $300.

This means they will get a total of $400 in grocery vouchers between now and next year.

And given the need for social distancing during the coronavirus outbreak, the $100 PAssion Card top-up for seniors, announced in the Budget last month, will be given in cash instead.

INCREASED

In addition, the Workfare special payment for low-wage workers will be increased to $3,000 in cash.

Workfare helps those whose earnings are in the bottom 20 per cent, with some support for those slightly above.

Mr Heng added that the Government will double the $10 million grant to self-help groups over two years so that they can help more families.

The Government will freeze all government fees and charges for one year, starting from next month and ending March 31 next year.

It will also suspend all loan repayment and interest charges for graduates who have taken government loans for university and polytechnic studies, starting from June and ending May next year.

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