Source: CNA video screengrab.

All Singaporeans above the age of 21 to expect handouts of up to $300 in 2018

Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat has announced in Parliament on Monday (19 February) that all Singaporeans aged 21 and above this year will get a one-off SG Bonus of up to S$300 each.

Mr Heng stated that the allocation was due to the surplus in the Budget for 2017 of almost S$10 billion.

He told Parliament that it reflects the Government’s long-standing commitment to share the fruits of Singapore’s development with Singaporeans, describing the Bonus as a "hongbao".

There are about 2.7 million people to get the payouts, which are due at the end of this year.

The payouts will be paid according to people’s assessable income. Those with an annual income of S$28,000 or below will be eligible for a payout of S$300, those whose income is S$28,001-S$100,000 will receive S$200, and people whose income is in excess of S$100,000 will receive S$100.

According to the government, the hongbao will cost them S$700 million.

The last time the Government handed out bonus to Singaporeans was in 2011, during election year. 2.5 million Singaporeans aged 21 and above were given "growth dividends" of between S$100 and S$800, which cost the Government S$1.5 billion.

In 2008, the Government also gave out dividends of between S$100 and S$400.

The Government has announced earlier that the country's revised Budget position for FY2017 showed a surplus of S$9.61 billion. This was caused by exceptional contributions from Statutory Boards and higher-than-expected Stamp Duty.

Mr Heng stated that the surplus will also be used in other ways, such as S$5 billion to be set aside for the Rail Infrastructure Fund, to save up for the new rail lines that Singapore is building and another S$2 billion to be set aside for premium subsidies and other forms of support when the ElderShield review is complete.