Second tranche of grocery vouchers to be delivered to homes
New distribution method after 229 sets from first tranche were stolen from letterboxes
The second batch of $150 grocery vouchers to help Singaporeans living in one- and two-room Housing Board flats will be given out over the next four Saturdays, starting Dec 12, this time directly to the homes of recipients.
This comes after 229 sets of the previous batch of vouchers were stolen from letterboxes - some of them either damaged or unlocked.
The Ministry of Finance (MOF) said the new delivery method should "better balance safety, security and convenience to recipients".
For recipients not at home after SingPost agents attempt to make delivery twice, they will be notified to collect their vouchers at a specified post office within 10 working days.
The new delivery method, said MOF, took into account feedback and learning points from the October disbursement.
The grocery vouchers were announced by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat earlier in the year during the Budget.
About 150,000 eligible recipients - Singaporeans aged 21 years and above living in one- and two-room flats, and who do not own more than one property - will get $300 this year and a further $100 in October next year.
The first $150 was given out in an exercise in October.
Mr Heng said some recipients have shared how the vouchers made a difference to them, and he hoped this second set of vouchers will similarly help households defray their expenses.
"During this challenging period, we know that household expenses may be weighing on the minds of less well-off families among us," said Mr Heng, who is also Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies and Minister for Finance.
"We disbursed the first tranche of grocery vouchers in October, which helped defray the recipients' household expenses. I hope that the second round of vouchers will provide additional assistance."
Last month, Second Minister for Finance Indranee Rajah told Parliament that less than 0.2 per cent, or 229 sets, of Budget 2020 grocery vouchers that were mailed out were reported stolen as of Oct 28.
Based on investigations by the Singapore Police Force, the thefts "appear to be opportunistic and the cases are not linked", she added, noting that the letterboxes were left unlocked in some cases.
As of Oct 28, 55 people were arrested for stealing the vouchers.
Ms Indranee said in Parliament that digital vouchers had been ruled out as recipients may not own a smartphone, have a mobile data plan or the digital know-how necessary.