There is a tremendous amount of news covering the launch of Budget 2021. From healthcare worker initiatives to improved employment schemes, this is the nation’s most impactful financial plan as it will affect all walks of life.
If the heavy circulation of Budget 2021 on the media has gotten you confused on what are the impacts it will have on you and your family, we have done the research for you and broken it down into 5 ways it will affect you and your loved ones.
Financial aid for lower- to middle-income class families
The government has set several initiatives to help families who are struggling financially, specifically the lower- to middle-income class families. These policies will help families save money and they will be granted access to various benefits.
The following initiatives are:
- If you are placed in the lower and middle-income class, you will be entitled to a specially curated one-off GST voucher of S$200 in cash in June 2021. To find out if your household is eligible for this voucher, click here.
- Households placed in the lower and middle-income class will also receive an additional GST Voucher U-Save payment (utilities) of an increased 50% discount, or between S$120 and S$200, in April and July 2021.
- Families with young children will receive an extra supplement of S$200 for each Singaporean child under the age of 21 through their respective education accounts – whether it is the Child Development Account (CDA), the Edusave Account or the Post-Secondary Education Account (PSEA). It will be used to pay school fees, and even school tours’ fees, and much more.
- Qualified Singaporean households living in HDB flats will receive a discount to compensate for 1.5 to 3.5 months of service and maintenance charges throughout the year, based on their HDB flat type. That’s up to three months of free service and maintenance a year! The subsidies will be paid in April, July and October 2021, and January 2022.
All internal combustion engine vehicles will be phased out by 2040. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has presented an Electric Vehicle (EV) Early Adoption Incentive, with a rebate of up to 45% (capped at S$20,000) on the increased processing fee for those purchasing fully electric cars and taxis from now until January 2023. Less tax will also be levied on EVs and some hybrid vehicles. By the year 2030, the Government has sought to implement up to 60,000 public charging points for EVs, up from 1,600 currently.
Changes in registration fees and road tax will be made to reduce the cost differential between electric cars and internal combustion engine automobiles. There will be an expansion of up to S$0.15 per litre in petrol premium rates with immediate effect. To ease the transition, more road tax rebates will be available, such as a one-year 15% road tax rebate for all cabs and private vehicle services that run on petrol.
The growth of employment opportunities and salary boost
The SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package will seek to facilitate the recruitment of 200,000 locals as well as provide up to 35,000 traineeships this year. If you need more assistance on how to upskill yourself, check out the available SGUnited schemes for training programs, vocational courses and mid-career routes.
If you are working in the healthcare sector, Budget 2021 is launching a salary boost for all healthcare workers in healthcare institutions, government hospitals and long-term health service providers. This initiative is to commend them for their relentless hard work in combating Covid-19.
Extra aid in school fees and school meals
Currently, only about half of Singapore’s preschools are government-sponsored, but by 2025, the share of government-sponsored preschools will rise to 80%. This will actively demonstrate that more preschools will receive public funding which will allow parents to be able to place their children in a larger pool of eligible preschools with affordable school fees.
This is what parents can expect:
- All students will receive higher transport subsidies and, for secondary school students, more support for school meals.
- Pre-university students from low-income families will receive up to S$1,000 from S$900 previously raised under the Education Ministry’s Financial Assistance Scheme.
- Full-time Institute of Technical Education (ITE) students from low-income families will now receive a 100% fee grant.
S$500 SkillsFuture credit top-up for Singaporeans aged 25 and above
Now is the ideal time to learn a new set of skills with a S$500 SkillsFuture credit top-up that is available for every Singaporean aged 25 or older. It is now open for registration and use, it will be set to expire by December 2025. Singaporeans are strongly advised to take advantage of the current economic downturn to visit the programmes online under the SkillsFuture strategy. There are dozens and dozens (if not hundreds) of them, from writing software to learning a new foreign language, this is an opportune period to upskill yourself to enhance your professional capabilities.
Budget 2021 will be the national breakthrough that is inspired by a global breakdown, it is Singapore’s shining testimony towards the global pandemic. As we march towards greater years to come, let’s take heart that this too shall pass!
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