What’s the best Christmas present for a child? Easily toys or whatnot.
How about adults? Money.
What is it?
According to the Ministry of Finance, the Assurance Package (AP) Cash and Cost-of-Living (COL) special payment will be given to up to 2.9 million adult Singaporeans in December, with approximately 2.5 million adults eligible to receive both packages totaling up to $700 per person.
The package will include cash payments, Community Development Council (CDC) vouchers, and extra GST Vouchers such as U-Save and MediSave top-ups.
The monetary package comes as a move in response to the effects of the GST rate increase, and funds will be distributed over a period of five years beginning in December 2022.
Go Digital to Receive Sooner
The Ministry of Finance has been using Paynow-NRIC as the default payment method since 2021.
For those who can’t wait to get that sweet cash, you can receive AP cash and COL special payment as early as 5 December, as long as you make sure to link your NRIC to PayNow by 20 November.
Further information on how to do so is to be inquired with your respective banks, but trust me, it’s usually very fast and straightforward (as long as you’ve already registered to PayNow…which you should have, right?)
For those who have yet to link their NRIC to their Paynow, do note that GovCash has replaced cheques as the preferred method of payment.
Withdraw of cash can only be done at OCBC ATMs through two rounds: Singaporeans need to enter their NRIC and Payment Reference Number (PRN) which will be given out starting on 14 December. After that, a facial verification for security purposes needs to be passed before the money can be redrawn.
Yes, cheques or brank transfers are for dinosaurs.
More on Assurance Package
The AP was initially to be $6.6 billion, as announced in Budget 2022. However, on 7 November, during the Parliament sitting, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong shared that the budget will be up by $1.4 billion to reach around $8 billion instead.
This will guarantee that the AP can offset extra GST charges for the majority of Singaporean households for at least five years, especially given the current economic inflation, with about 10 years for lower-income households.
More specifics will be disclosed in Budget 2023.
For now, the initial distribution will run from December 2022 to February 2023, with 2.9 million Singaporeans receiving up to S$200 per person.
Cost-of-Living Special Payment
Within the 2.9 million, 2.5 million are eligible for COL and will be entitled to a special cash payout of up to S$500.
Only Singaporeans who are 21 years old or above, with an assessable income of no more than S$100,000 in the Year of Assessment (YA) 2022, and who owned no more than one property will be eligible to receive the one-off COL special package.
Similarly, citizens can check whether they are eligible at the AP official website by logging in with their Singpass.
Other Financial Aids
Besides both the AP and COL, further GST Voucher – U-Save of up to $95 will be given in January 2023 to eligible HDB households to help with utility costs, on top of the regular GSTV-U-Save for already eligible HBD households under the permanent GSTV scheme.
Also in January 2023, every Singapore house will receive a total of $300 CDC Vouchers that can be used at participating heartland merchants and hawkers, as well as supermarkets.
In February 2023, under the GSTV – Cash (Senior’s Bonus), lower-income senior Singaporeans will receive $300 cash.
At the same time, seniors aged 55 years and above and children aged 20 years and below would also receive $150 in their MediSave Accounts.
You can read this article to know how much you’d be getting.
Here’s also a video explaining why GST is needed in Singapore:
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Featured Image: asia.nikkei
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