By this week, most Singaporeans would have received letters informing them of their entitlements to GST Vouchers (GSTV). While the official position is that GSTV are meant mainly to assist the lower and middle income families to offset rising living costs, one can’t help but wonder if there are those who may feel short-changed about it.
Let’s take a look at some of the “Winners” and “Losers” of this year’s GSTV.
Winners: The Pioneer Generation
As if last year’s Pioneer Generation Package wasn’t enough, our parents and grandparents who were born in 1949 or earlier (i.e. turning 66 this year) will be getting even more goodies this year.
It is a long list, so we will just list the perks down in a table.
|1||GSTV – Cash||$300|
|2||One-Off GST Seniors’ Bonus||$600|
|3||One-Off Medisave Top Up||$250 – $450|
|4||Annual Medisave Top Up||$200 – $800|
The upper range for the Medisave top-ups are for those who are 80 and above. The lower range for the Medisave top-ups are for those from the age of 66 to 70.
Basically, what it means is that an individual who is from the pioneer generation may get up to $2,150 for the year in cash and Medisave top-ups. The exact amount depends on their assessable income and home annual value.
Losers: Those who have assessable income greater than $26,000 or multiple properties
Individuals who have assessable income beyond $26,000 or multiple properties will automatically not qualify for the GSTV–Cash, regardless of how young or old you might be. The government is very clear on this. GSTV-Cash is targeted at the lower and middle income families only.
Winners: Older people who are not old enough to be part of the Pioneer Generation
Those between the ages of 56 to 65 will also receive a 5-year Medisave top-up. The amount ranges from $100 to $200 annually, and will be paid for a total of 5 years (starting from 2014).
We like this because even if you own multiple properties, or stay in a really big landed property, you still stand to gain a total of $500 in terms of Medisave top-ups over the next 5 years.
In addition, these folks also enjoy an additional $300 for the GSTV – Seniors Bonus as well, if the annual value of their property is $13,000 or less.
Winners: Those who are 65
While those who are between the ages of 56 to 65 will receive an annual top-up between $100 to $200 as mentioned earlier, those who are 65 this year will also receive a one-off Medisave top up between $150 – $250 depending on the annual value of their home. This is the same one-off top-ups that the Pioneer Generation (i.e. those 66 and above) are receiving.
Losers: Financial writers trying to make sense of the GST Vouchers
The vast amount of combinations comprising of various age groups, income brackets and properties owned being lumped into the equation make this one of the tougher budgets to explain. In fact, it was difficult for us not to be confused when trying to understand the different payouts and eligibility criteria.
Do you understand what are the handouts that you will be receiving? More importantly, do you like it? Share with us your view on Facebook.