SINGAPORE — An estimated 1.5 million Singaporean citizens are set to receive a total of SGD 1.2 billion in aid as part of the permanent GST Voucher scheme, as announced by the Ministry of Finance on Tuesday.
This comes in the form of GSTV – Cash and MediSave top-ups, announced by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Mr Lawrence Wong during the Budget 2023 speech.
In January this year, Goods & Service Tax (GST) was increased from 7% to 8%.
MOF said in its press release that lower- to middle-income Singaporeans and households will benefit from this initiative, designed to help offset the cost of living and GST expenses. These cash vouchers and top-ups supplement the Assurance Package that all Singaporeans are entitled to receive.
In August, each eligible adult will receive up to S$700 in GSTV – Cash, an increase of S$300 compared to the previous year.
Additionally, around 624,000 eligible senior citizens aged 65 and above will receive up to S$450 in MediSave top-ups, credited directly into their CPF MediSave Accounts.
Singaporeans born on or before 31 December 1969, who are not eligible for Pioneer Generation or Merdeka Generation benefits, will benefit from the 5-Year annual MediSave Top-up scheme, initiated in Budget 2019.
As part of this scheme, S$100 will be credited to their CPF MediSave Accounts in late August.
Throughout 2023, Singaporeans have received and will continue to receive a variety of financial support.
This includes CDC Vouchers, AP MediSave and AP Seniors’ Bonus, top-ups to children’s educational accounts, the 2023 Cost-of-Living Special Payment and Seniors’ Bonus, and tranches of U-Save and S&CC rebates.
Eligibility for the GSTV – Cash is automatic for those who have previously signed up for government disbursement schemes.
Others may sign up for the GSTV scheme via the GSTV official website by logging in with their Singpass.
The deadline for sign-up to receive payment in August is 10 July 2023. Late sign-ups, up to the end of August, will receive their payments in September. The final deadline for the 2023 GSTV scheme sign-ups is 30 April 2024.
MOF has been using PayNow-NRIC as the default payment mode for citizens who have linked their NRIC to PayNow since 2021.
Payments will be made earlier to those who register for PayNow-NRIC by 21 July 2023. Those without PayNow-NRIC linked bank accounts can also receive the payment via direct bank crediting from 11 August 2023.
MOF has replaced cheques with GovCash as the mode of payment for citizens without providing bank accounts or linked NRICs to PayNow.
Recipients may withdraw their GSTV – Cash at OCBC ATMs islandwide, use the LifeSG app to make payments, or transfer payments to their bank accounts via PayNow if they subsequently register for PayNow-NRIC.
Eligible recipients will be notified of their credited GSTV – Cash and/or GSTV – MediSave benefits in August 2023. Notifications will be sent via the Singpass app inbox or by SMS.
To guard against potential scams, recipients will not be asked to reply to the SMS, click any links, or provide any information to the sender.
No messages regarding the GSTV will be sent via WhatsApp or other mobile app messaging platforms.
Citizens are encouraged to download the Singpass app from official app stores for secure notifications from the government.