Singapore: MOF will give GST voucher rebate to 900,000 HDB households in April

HDB flats in Singapore
A view of a newly constructed public housing estate in Singapore. Reuters

Singapore's Ministry of Finance (MOF) announced on Monday that nearly 900,000 Singaporean HDB households will receive the next instalment of the GST Voucher - Utilities-Save (U-Save) rebate in April.

Last month, the Housing and Development Board said that 900,000 HDB households will receive S$126 million worth of Service and Conservancy Charges (S&CC) rebate from April to January next year.

The rebate is a part of the permanent GST Voucher scheme and it will be distributed every three months. This helps HDB households offset part of their utilities bills and serves to lower overall household expenses.

The eligible household will each receive a GST Voucher - U-Save of up to S$95 in April, depending on their HDB flat type.

In Budget 2018, the government had announced that eligible households will get an additional S$20 a year for three years, from 2019 to 2021.

"This will help households adjust to the carbon tax when it is implemented from 2019. On average, the increase in U-Save will cover the expected increase in electricity and gas expenses for HDB households arising from the introduction of the carbon tax," MOF said in a press release.

In February, the S&CC rebate was announced during Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat's Budget statement. He said that eligible households living in 1- and 2-room flats will receive 3.5 months of rebate, while those staying in 3- and 4-room flats will receive 2.5 months of rebate.

In case of households in 5-room flats, the rebate will be two months. Heng said that people living in executive and multi-generational flats will get 1.5 months rebate. Reportedly, the Government will spend S$126 million on these rebates that will be disbursed on a quarterly basis.

At present, most of the Singaporean households pay between S$19.50 and S$95 per month for S&CC. According to reports, the collected money is used to pay town council expenses like cleaners' wages, pest control, the maintenance and replacement of lifts.

In the financial year of 2017, 880,000 households received S$120 million worth of rebates.