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Resilience Budget: S$3b allocated for cash distribution to all families amid pandemic

THE government is setting aside S$3 billion more for the Care and Support Package first announced in Budget 2020 on Feb 18, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said in Parliament on Thursday as he unveiled a Resilience Budget in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We will put more cash in the hands of all families to help them cope,” he added.

Under the enhanced package, the cash payout for all adult Singaporeans will be tripled to a range of S$300 to S$900, from the previous range of S$100 to S$300.

Families with young children will also get more help. The additional cash payout given to each Singaporean parent with at least one young Singaporean child will be tripled to S$300, from S$100.

For lower-wage workers, the enhanced Workfare Special Payment will provide them with S$3,000 in cash this year for their household needs.

Needy Singaporeans will also each receive S$300 in grocery vouchers in 2020, compared to S$100 previously. This is in addition to the S$100 in grocery vouchers they will receive in 2021.

Singaporeans aged 50 and above will get the earlier-announced one-off PAssion Card top-up in cash instead. This is to avoid the need to queue at top-up stations during this period, Mr Heng said on Thursday.

With these enhancements to the Care and Support Package, a young family will now receive around S$2,900 instead of S$1,300. A three-generation family will get about S$6,700, instead of S$1,800 in the original package.

Meanwhile, the government will double the grant given to self-help groups to S$20 million over two years.

The additional grant given to Community Development Councils (CDCs) will also be increased to S$75 million, from S$20 million previously.

“Our self-help groups and CDCs have stepped up their efforts to help families and vulnerable groups through their own assistance schemes,” Mr Heng said.

The enhanced Care Support Package – including the S$1.6 billion in measures unveiled last month – will now cost around S$4.6 billion in total.