National Day Rally 2019: 7 Key Highlights For Families

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Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong delivered his most-awaited political speech of the year last Sunday, 18 August 2019. National Day Rally 2019 (NDR 2019) tackled many important issues from supporting parents to CPF contributions to new housing developments. Held at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College Central campus, PM Lee unveiled the Government’s plans for the next generation of Singaporeans. 

National Day Rally 2019: 6 Key Highlights 

Affordable Education 

One of the key points PM Lee highlighted is to make education affordable from preschool to universities. Mr Lee called for more parents to place their kids in kindergarten and encouraged lower-income students to pursue their dreams despite rising school fees. 

1. Preschool Bursaries 

2018 MOE Kindergarten Open House

  • The Government is estimated to spend more than $ 1 billion in early childcare education. 
  • The income ceiling for pre-school subsidies will rise from the current $7,500 to $12,000 which will benefit up to 30,000 more households. 
  • Previously, low-income families paid $560 per month, per child. With the added subsidies, families will pay around $370. 
  • MOE Kindergartens will double in the next few years, currently, there are 24. 
  • KidSTART programme for less privileged families will expand to include 5,000 more kids over the next three years. 

2. Polytechnic Bursaries

college, university, poly, teenager

  • Bursaries will increase from the current 80% to 95%. This will also extend to students in government-funded institutions like NAFA, ITE and Lasalle College of the Arts. 
  • Currently, a full-time Polytechnic diploma costs $3000. After bursary enhancements, a lower-income poly student will pay only $150 per year. 
  • 6 in 10 students in our polytechnics and universities are eligible for government bursaries. The enhancements will benefit many middle-income students too.

3. University – General Degree  

  • MOE will lower fees for general degree programmes from $8000 to $7,500 in the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) and Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS).  
  • From the current 50% to 75%, the bursary coverage for low-income students at all universities will increase.
  • A lower-income student studying economics at NUS who is paying $4000 now will pay $2000 per year after the enhanced bursary. 
  • Bursaries will apply to existing and new students from the next academic year.

4. Medical Students in University 

  • Medical students at NUS and NTU currently pay between $29,000 to $35,000 per year. With enhanced bursary, lower-income medical students will pay at most $5,000 per year. 
  • Bursaries will apply to existing and new students from the next academic year.

5. Older Workers 

National Day Rally 2019

  • The retirement age is increased from 62 to 65 and reemployment age is increased from 67 to 70. 
  • The public sector will implement changes first in 2021, the private sector will follow in 2022. 

6. CPF Rates: Rise for Older Workers 

  • CPF contributions will increase for citizens above 55 years old.
  • In addition, the rates will increase in 2021 and subsequently after that depending on economic conditions.
  • By the end of the rise, citizens aged 60 and below will enjoy the full CPF rates. The CPF rates will only begin to taper down after 60 and level off after 70. 

7. Housing Development At Keppel Club Site 

National Day Rally 2019

Source: PMO/YouTube

  • Greater Southern Waterfront (GSW) will be a new place for Singaporeans to live, work and play. 
  • It will cover 30km of coastline from Gardens by the Bay East area to Pasir Panjang. 
  • 6 times the size of Marina Bay and double the size of Punggol 
  • The first development of GSW will be at Keppel Club area, where 9,000 public and private housing will be built. 

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Written by

Shreya Jagdish

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