With effects backdated to January 1 this year, all new-born babies this year would receive a bigger Baby Bonus, additional Medisave Grant and extended paternity leave. The following announcements in details were made by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong last night (August 23) at his National Day Rally speech:

1) Help fathers, excluding single fathers: One week of paternity leave would be added, however this is not compulsory for private limited employers
2) Help fathers, excluding single fathers: Fathers can share one week of the sixteen weeks of maternity leaves mothers get, again, not compulsory for private limited employers
3) Bigger Baby Bonus, no equal bonus for single parents
4) Proximity Housing Grant given to all Singaporean household
5) Increase of re-employment age to 67 because, according to Lee Hsien Loong:

“Singaporeans want to work longer and beyond 65. Workers want us to raise the re-employment age. They want to keep working for as long as they are healthy. I hear this every time I attend a union function.”

6) Help the top 33% rich: HDB income ceiling for BTO purchase will be increased to S$12,000, income ceiling for Executive Condominium is increased to S$14,000
7) Help the middle class with household income of S$8,500 and below: Special CPF Housing Grant tripled to S$30,000
8) Help the poor with HDB flats: Special CPF Housing Grant doubled to S$40,000

Photo of Lee Hsien Loong from channelnewsasia
Photo of Lee Hsien Loong from channelnewsasia

“Two years ago, I showed you that if you earn S$1,000 a month, you can buy a two-room flat. With the latest changes, even if you earn below S$1,000 but you hold a stable job and contribute to CPF regularly, you can still afford to have a two-room flat.”

9) Help the bottom 10% poor with Rental flats, singling out Malays: HDB flats at a shorter HDB lease with a cheaper price will be introduced under the Fresh Start Housing Scheme:

“Within this group, the Malay community is over-represented and many are young families with marital and financial problems – including those who may have bought a flat before, but have since gotten divorced and now live in rental flat.”

10) No housing grant for poor people on rental flats who used to own HDB flats because they had already received subsidies on their first flat.
11) Proximity Housing Grant introduced to help Singaporeans live closer to their parents
12) No easy choices on immigration and foreigners, hence population will continue to increase
13) If you are proud of what we have achieved together, vote PAP.