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400,000 lower-wage Singaporeans to get S$1.2b in Workfare Special Payment in July, October

SOME 400,000 lower-income Singaporeans will receive their S$3,000 cash payouts from the Workfare Special Payment (WSP) in July and October this year, totalling S$1.2 billion, to further help them with their expenses. 

They will receive half of the payout from July 28 and the second half from Oct 28, the Ministry of Finance announced on Friday.

The WSP was introduced under the Care and Support Package at the Resilience Budget on March 26 by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat.

In a Facebook post on Friday, Mr Heng said: "During this period of economic uncertainty, many of our workers are going throuogh a tough time. Our lower-income workers in particular, have less to fall back on."

The WSP is given to workers who are eligible for the Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) before March 31, 2021, for their work done in 2019. Targeting the bottom 20 per cent of the workforce, the WIS tops up the salaries of lower-income Singaporeans and helps them save for retirement.

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From work year 2020, the WIS has been enhanced, with the qualifying income cap raised to S$2,300 per month and the maximum annual WIS payout increased to S$4,000.

Workers will receive their WSP in the same way they receive their WIS payments - through direct crediting into their bank account or through a cheque mailed to their residential address.

Those with government-registered bank accounts will receive the first S$1,500 payout earlier, via direct bank crediting on July 28. The rest will receive it by Aug 15, by cheque mailed to their NRIC-registered addresses.

The second S$1,500 payout will be credited to bank accounts by Oct 28, or sent by mailed cheque by Nov 15.

Mr Heng on Friday noted that Singapore's lower-wage workers have experienced "strong" real wage growth - averaging more than 4 per cent per year in the last five years, outpacing growth in median wages. This comes at a time when many workers around the world are experiencing wage stagnation.

"We can and we will continue to invest in and support our lower-wage workers, so that they can continue to learn and grow," he added.

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