The 2019 budget is in – all 2 hours 6 minutes and 23 seconds of it. However, you don’t have to sit through it all to figure out what it meant for you. Here’s a filtered Young Adult Edition of the 2019 Budget to give you a heads up on what the Government has put its money on and how it’ll affect you.
1. A Bicentennial GST voucher payment
Your 21st birthday isn’t just an excuse to throw a big party. It also marks you as a recipient of the Bicentennial GST Voucher. Think of it as a bonus on top of the annual GST Voucher. To qualify, you must not have an income of more than $28,000 ($2,333/month) in 2018.
So if you’re still studying or in your first year of employment, you can definitely expect some extra pocket money of about $150 – $300 (depending on your home annual value) coming your way!
Wait…what’s my home’s annual value?
It’s the value based on how much rental your property can fetch in a year. The amount is determined by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) based on estimated market rates. Basically the more central and the bigger your house, the lower your bonus.
2. Post-Secondary Education Accounts (PSEA)
If you are younger than 21, money is still coming in, just not directly to your wallet. For students 17-20 years old, your Post-Secondary Education Accounts (PSEA) will be getting a top up of either $250 or $500 depending on your annual home value. If you’re eyeing any overseas exchange programme or enrichment courses, this bonus will be helpful too.
3. 50% Tax Rebate
Taxpayers rejoice! You get a 50% rebate of up to $200 based on your income in 2019
4. Opportunities for a Career Switch to Tech
For those looking to make a jump into the tech world but are stuck in another industry, the Government will be launching new Professional Conversion Programmes (PCPs) to get your foot in the door. Topics include blockchain, embedded software and prefabrication.
5. More Healthcare Subsidy
The Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) which offers lower- and middle-income families subsidies on health care will now cover all Singaporeans with chronic conditions, regardless of income. Those with complex chronic conditions can also expect more subsidy. Now, CHAS Orange cardholders can also receive subsidies for common illnesses.
6. Rebate for HDB households
About 930,000 households will qualify for a rebate of about 1.5 – 3.5 months on their service and conservancy charges.
7. More CPF for your Parents!
If your parents are between 50 to 64 years old with less than $60,000 in their CPF account, they can expect a $1000 top-up!
8. Active and Healthy Aging for Your Parents
If your parents are born in the 1950s, they would qualify for the Merdeka Generation package meant to promote a more active and healthy lifestyle. They can expect an annual $200 top-up to their Medisave account for five years as well as more subsidies for outpatient care. They would also get a $100 bonus in their PAssion Silver Card which they can use to join activities at Community Clubs, pay for public transport and access public amenities like swimming pools. If your parents are this bracket, find out more here.
9. Yes, GST is still going up
The dreaded 9% GST is still on track for sometime between 2021 and 2025.
10. Lesser GST Relief For Travellers
If you return to Singapore in less than 48 hours, your GST relief is limited to $100 (down from $150). If you return after 48 hours, you qualify for $500 of GST relief (down from $600).
11. Lesser Alcohol at Duty-Free
You’ll only be allowed to buy a maximum of two litres of alcohol from Duty-Free and this kicks off 1st April 2019. Stock up on duty-free alcohol during your March travels!.
12. Pay more for Diesel
Attention drivers! The excise duty for diesel has gone up from $0.10 to $0.20.
Hopefully, this quick summary gives you a glance of what you and your loved ones can expect from this year’s budget. For a more customised snapshot of the pieces of the pie you qualify for, check out the budget calculator by Straits Times here.