Following is a summary of the Singapore Budget 2012 in 5 different categories.
Rewarding Work for the Elderly
- From 1 September 2012, the CPF contribution rate will be increased for both employers and employees who are 50–65 years old. The aim is to increase to 36% in time to come.
- From 1 January 2012, the Medisave Contribution Rate will be increased from 9% to 9.5% for the self-employed who are aged 50 years and above.
- From Year of Assessment 2013, the earned income tax relief from $3000 to $6000 for those aged 55–59. And $4000 to $8000 for those aged 60 and above.
Helping Seniors Unlock Savings
- For those who are aged 55 and above, Government will give bonus of $20,000 ($15,000 cash, $5,000 CPF) if they downgrade to 3-room or smaller flats or Studio Apartment.
- The Lease Buy-Back Scheme will be enhanced such that the proceeds can be cashed out after setting aside the prevailing sum in their Retirement Accounts. The bonus will be increased from $10,000 to $20,000.
Enhancing Affordability of Healthcare
- All patients in community hospitals will now qualify for government subsidies, up from half of all patients currently.
- Subsidies for nursing homes, community and home-based care will also be raised. Two-thirds of Singaporean households will qualify for subsidies, up from 50% currently.
- There is a $120 grant for hiring a foreign domestic helper to care for elderly member at home.
- GST will be permanently absorbed in community hospital, nursing home and home care.
- Government will subsidise up to 95% of the installation cost of elderly friendly feature in about 130,000 homes.
- All Singaporean will receive between $50 to $400 top-up to their Medisave due to increase in premium of MediShield. Medishield will in turn be enhanced to cover more such as congenital conditions and increase the maximum coverage age from 85 to 90 years old.
Supporting Singaporeans with Disabilities
- Pre-school children with mild speech, language and learning delays will be able to receive learning support intervention and if necessary therapy intervention to help them while they are in mainstream pre-schools.
- The Special Employment Credit will be extended to employers that hire Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) of all ages who have graduated from VWO-run Special Education (SPED) schools regardless of age.
- The Workfare Income Supplement will be extended to all PWDs who have graduated from VWO-run SPED schools regardless of age.
- From Year of Assessment 201, the Handicapped Earned Income Tax Relief for disabled workers of all ages will be doubled.
Fair Tax System
- A permanent system of offsets in the form of GST Voucher to help lower-income Singaporeans.
- GST Voucher –Cash: Eligible low-income Singaporean will receive $250 for Annual Value of Home up to $13,000, and $100 if value is between $13,000 to $20,000.
- GST Voucher – Medisave: An annual top-up of $150-$450 to the Medisave Accounts of older Singaporeans aged 65 and above and living in properties which have an Annual Value that does not exceed $20,000.
- GST Voucher – U-Save: All HDB households to get $80– $260 rebate to help directly offset the monthly utilities bills.
Singaporeans can expect to receive their annual GST Voucher – Cash and GST Voucher – Medisave from Aug 2012 onwards. The GST Voucher – U-Save will be given out in Jan and Jul each year, starting Jul 2012.