S$200 cash payout under the GST voucher scheme will be paid this Saturday (Nov 5) to an estimated 1.3 million low income Singaporean HDB dwellers. S$100 will be given to those low income living in houses with annual value between S$13,000 to S$21,000.
Costing $280 million in total, these cash payout are given to only low income earners with an annual assessable income of less than S$26,000 – or $2,160.67 a month. These earners are estimated to be the bottom 30-percentile earners in the country with one of the highest income gap in the world.
The GST cash payout scheme was introduced as a return for overcharging citizens on a 7% goods-and-services tax charge. Unlike other countries, GST is required for all purchases in Singapore including utility bills, essential food items and emergency hospital bills. Essentially, low income and unemployed Singaporeans pay more in GST taxes as compared to the amount they receive back in cash.
In Financial 2015/2016, the government collected S$44.8 billion in tax revenue. However, the return to Singaporeans is only at an estimated measly 0.0125% (S$560 million).