Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat is presently delivering this year’s Budget speech and has given additional details on the Merdeka Generation Package, based on what Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced during last year’s National Day Rally speech.
Heng said that the Package, which is expected to cost over S$8 billion is set to benefit 500,000 Singaporeans.
In this budget, Heng is setting aside S$6.1 billion in a new Merdeka Generation Fund that will cover the projected costs of S$8 billion over time, with accumulated interest.
Emphasising that the Merdeka Generation Package is a symbol of the Goverment’s appreciation of the Merdeka Generation, Heng said that the Package aims to provide those who were born in the 1950s with greater peace of mind over healthcare costs and to help them keep active and healthy.
The elements of the Merdeka Generation Package are:
a one-off S$100 top-up to PAssion Silver cards;
Medisave top-up of S$200 a year from 2019 to 2023;
special subsidies at CHAS GP and dental clinics like an additional 25 per cent off bills at polyclinics and public specialist outpatient clinics;
an additional 5 per cent off Medishield Life annual premium for those aged 60 to 75, and 10 per cent off for those above 76 years old. This would be a discount of between S$31.50 to S$918, depending on the premiums; and
an additional participation incentive of S$1,500 for joining CareShield Life. This is along with the S$2,500 incentive announced earlier, those who belong to the Merdeka Generation will get S$4,000 if they join CareShield Life.
Singaporeans in their sixties who were born in the 1950s and obtained citizenship by 1996 are eligible for the Merdeka Generation Package.
Those who were born in 1949 but missed out on the Pioneer Generation Package are also eligible for the Merdeka Generation Package, if they became citizens by 1996.
Eligible Singaporeans will be notified in April 2019 and will start receiving their Merdeka Generation cards from June.
Heng Swee Keat further announced that those above the age of 50 years old, who are not eligible for the Pioneer Generation Package and the Merdeka Generation Package, will get a Medisave top-up of S$100 a year, for five years.
This article is part of The Independent’s Budget 2019 coverage. Please send your feedback and enquiries to email@example.com.