95 Ms He Ting Ru asked the Prime Minister (a) for each year that the $3,000 one-off Baby Support Grant was in effect, how much was paid out under the grant; and (b) whether further support will be granted to Singaporeans who aspire to start families given the current concerns surrounding the rising cost of living and inflation.
Ms Indranee Rajah (for the Prime Minister): The Baby Support Grant (BSG) was introduced for parents of Singaporean children born from 1 October 2020 to 30 September 2022. We disbursed $92 million in the first year from 1 October 2020 to 30 September 2021, and $69 million thus far in the ongoing second year.
The BSG is a one-off measure to signal our support for families during the COVID-19 pandemic and encourage couples to proceed with their parenthood plans. Apart from the BSG, parents continue to benefit from comprehensive support under the Marriage and Parenthood package, which we have enhanced over the years. Among other benefits, the Baby Bonus Cash Gift, contributions to the Child Development Account, and Medisave Grant for Newborns provide parents with up to $18,000 in financial support for their firstborn, and more for higher birth orders.
We recognise that Singaporeans are concerned about the rising cost of living. At Budget 2022, we announced a comprehensive set of measures to help cushion the impact of higher prices for Singaporean households. This includes a $100 CDC Voucher for each household, additional U-Save Rebates, and a $200 top-up to the Child Development Account, Edusave account or Post-Secondary Education Account of each Singaporean child.
Last month, the Government further announced a $1.5 billion Support Package to provide additional targeted help, especially for the lower-income and more vulnerable groups. This package includes a GST Voucher – Cash Special Payment of up to $300 for existing GST Voucher – Cash recipients, and a $100 Household Utilities Credit disbursed to every Singaporean household to help offset utilities bills. This is on top of the earlier announced GST Voucher – U-Save rebates that our HDB households will be receiving. With this, an average household living in a 4-room HDB flat will receive utilities rebates covering about five months’ worth of their utilities bills.
We will continue to monitor the situation closely, and assess whether further help is needed. The Government remains committed to supporting Singaporeans who want to get married and have children, and will continue to review our measures to build a Singapore that is Made for Families.
Prime Minister’s Office
4 July 2022