Amidst the scarily rising prices of goods and the spike in inflation due to the war in Ukraine, Finance Minister Lawrence Wong bears some good news for us all:
Earlier implementation of Budget measures.
But before you get all excited, here’s what this spells for us.
CDC Vouchers to be Given in May
Firstly, announced in this year’s Budget was the $100 worth of Community Development Council (CDC) vouchers for 2022.
They will now be given out to every Singaporean household by the middle of May.
This comes just four months after the last distribution of CDC vouchers in December last year to help Singaporeans with their daily expenses.
Speaking on the current economic situation, Mr Wong said, “I understand the concerns that many households and businesses have about the current situation… Where possible, I will bring forward the implementation of our Budget measures.”
To know more about the CDC vouchers, watch this video to the end:
Support for Lower-income Households
Not forgetting those who are most greatly impacted by the rise in prices, financial support will also be ramped up for lower-income households.
All new ComCare short to medium-term assistance applicants between April and September 2022 will be given at least six months’ worth of support from the social service offices.
Households that are already on this assistance scheme can also have their assistance extended for at least another three months if they need more help.
Lower-income households will also receive more help with their public transport fares.
Another round of public transport vouchers worth $30 will be distributed to more than 30,000 ComCare recipients.
These vouchers had been made available last December to help households cope with the public transport fare hike.
This means that each household will now have $60 worth of transport vouchers, which will roughly cover the additional fares paid by a family of four this year following the fare hike last December.
These vouchers are also available to all households with a monthly income per member of up to $1,600. Applications are open from now to 31 October 2022.
Eligible households who had already received the first voucher, and who need a second voucher, can also apply again.
Grants for Businesses
The disbursement of the Small Business Recovery Grant will also be brought forward.
The grant provides up to $10,000 for small to medium-sized enterprises most affected by COVID-19 restrictions over the past year.
Most eligible businesses will be able to receive the grant by June.
Originally, eligible businesses for the grant would have been notified from June 2022.
Monitoring Impact of Measures
Will the Government be enhancing support measures announced in the Budget?
Mr Wong said, “We will need time to allow these measures to take effect and feed through the economy, before we can monitor their impact, assess the overall situation and then consider what additional steps we might want to take.”
The first tranche of service and conservancy charges rebates and U-Save rebates to eligible households will be disbursed this month and the rest will be disbursed in the coming quarters.
Other measures in place include the COVID-19 Recovery Grant to help those experiencing job loss or sustained income loss and the Taxi Subsidy Scheme for lower-income persons with disabilities who require point-to point services to commute.
“If the situation worsens and more support is needed, the Government stands ready to do so,” Mr Wong said.
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Featured Image: cdc.gov.sg
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