Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said on Tuesday (May 26) that the Government will provide a one-off household utilities credit for eligible homes, to thank Singaporeans for staying home during the circuit breaker.
Mr Heng, who is also Finance Minister, announced an additional $33 billion support package in Parliament and unveiled several ways in which the Government is planning to help businesses, workers and households cope with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dubbed the Fortitude Budget, this latest support package is the fourth such package Singapore has unveiled since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out. It has already committed nearly $100 billion — or 20 per cent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) — to fight the pandemic. The latest budget will dip into Singapore’s past reserves and will set its GDP growth forecast back by -7% to -4%.
While the third support package, the Solidarity Budget, provided a $600 one-time cash payout to all Singaporeans, the Fortitude Budget will provide a one-off $100 utilities credit for households with at least one Singaporean.
Revealing that this measure is being implemented as a way to thank families for staying home during the two-month-long circuit breaker which began on April 7, Mr Heng said:
“Singaporeans have given feedback that while they are saving on transport fares and other charges, they are expecting to spend more on their utility bills, as they stay home during the circuit breaker period.
“To thank all Singaporeans for doing our part in staying home for Singapore, I will provide a one-off $100 Solidarity Utilities Credit to each household with at least one Singapore Citizen. This will cover all property types and will be credited in the July or August utilities bill.”
The Solidarity Utilities Credit complements permanent support schemes like the GST Voucher Scheme as well as the other utilities rebates the Government has introduced in earlier support packages.
In the first Unity Budget, the DPM promised to double the amount of U-Save rebates through a one-off GST Voucher — U-Save Special Payment, for all eligible HDB households, to help with utilities bills. Larger households with five or more members would receive more, and may get up to $1,000 in U-Save rebates this year.
Besides this, all adult Singaporeans were paid a one-off Solidarity Payment of $600 in cash. Lower- and middle-income Singaporeans will get an additional cash payout of $300 or $600 in June, while parents with young Singaporean children will receive another $300 cash payout in the same month. /TISG
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