SINGAPORE – The Ministry of Finance has begun to recover rebates given out to ineligible households in the last financial year, which were identified by the Auditor-General’s Office in its report released last month.
The report had found 5,120 instances where GST Voucher U-Save rebates amounting to $864,500 could have been given to 3,166 ineligible households. One eligibility condition for the rebate is that the household must have a living Singapore citizen.
Second Finance Minister Indranee Rajah told Parliament on Monday (Aug 1) that a time lag issue affected about 3,100 households, or about 0.3 per cent of all households living in Housing Board flats.
These were cases where the sole Singapore citizen household member had already passed away as of the date used to determine eligibility, and the error arose as there was a time lag in some deceased citizens’ living status data, due to legal processing of records after their deaths had taken place.
“There were another 23 cases of U-Save rebates given even though there were no Singaporean citizens in the household, due to errors in agencies’ databases,” said Ms Indranee.
She was responding to questions from Dr Tan Wu Meng (Jurong GRC) and Workers’ Party MP He Ting Ru (Sengkang GRC) about reasons for disbursement to ineligible households.
Ms Indranee added that the ministry is working with agencies such as the HDB and the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority to tighten operational processes and ensure the use of latest available data to administer the GSTV – U-Save scheme.
In response to a further question from Ms He on the action taken to claw back the monies and the timeline for it, Ms Indranee said she did not have the exact figures at the moment as it was still in process, but added that the ministry is doing it as soon as it can.