Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat delivered his Budget 2020 speech at Parliament on Tuesday, 18 February.
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat delivering the Budget 2020 speech.
We’ve narrowed down the important points parents need to know:
Budget 2020: Gov’t to increase spending in the early childhood sector to over $2 billion per year
To ensure every Singaporean student can “reach potential regardless of family income,” the Government will increase annual spending on the early childhood sector—more than $2 billion per year within the next few years—to make quality preschool education to be more accessible.
“Good education provides a strong foundation for children to grow, realise their aspirations, and continue a journey of lifelong learning,” Mr Heng said. “We have committed to decisive shifts in the Government’s support for early childhood development. We are determined to give every child, regardless of circumstances, a good start in life.”
The minister also noted that the share of government-supported preschool places will also be increased to 80 percent by around 2025, up from just 50 percent today.
It can be noted that in August 2019, the government announced more pre-school subsidies and a raised income ceiling of S$12,000, extending the subsidies to more than 60 percent of households here. These measures took effect in January this year.
“A Singaporean child will receive more than S$180,000 of education subsidies by the time they turn 16, including S$50,000 in government subsidies over five years when they enrol in a full-day childcare programme with an anchor operator,” Mr Heng added.
Budget 2020: Care and Support Package for Households
As part of the $1.6 billion Care and Support package introduced in this year’s Budget, a cash payout scheme and other financial assistance will be extended to all households.
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All adult Singaporeans to get one-off cash payout ranging from $100 to $300
All Singaporeans aged 21 and older this year will get a one-off cash payout of between $100 and $300, depending on their income.
For example, those with an assessable income of up to $28,000 for the 2019 year of assessment will get $300. Those who earn between $28,001 and $100,000 get $200 and those earning over $100,000 or who own more than one property will get $100.
Parents with at least one Singaporean child aged 20 and younger this year will each receive an additional $100 in cash.
An additional GST Voucher rebate for larger households with five or more members, to help free up cash for other household expenses. The government will double the amount of U-Save rebates through a one-off GST Voucher – U-Save Special Payment to all eligible HDB households.
Larger households can receive a total of 2.5 times their regular U-Save rebates this year. These households can receive up to $1,000 in U-Save rebates, depending on their flat type.
Low-income families to get grocery voucher worth $100 a year
To help low-income Singaporeans cope with their daily living expenses, they will receive a grocery voucher worth $100 a year for this year and next year.
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The voucher can be used at the major supermarkets, such as NTUC FairPrice, Giant and Sheng Siong.
Singaporeans aged 21 and older who live in one- or two-room Housing Board flats and do not own more than one property will qualify for the grocery voucher.
The voucher comes in addition to the annual goods and services tax (GST) Vouchers, public transport vouchers, and Service and Conservancy Charges Rebates.