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Wednesday, 3 June 2015

BUDGET 2015 Savings on maid levy, help for aged parents

Savings on maid levy, help for aged parents

Published on Feb 24, 2015 2:40 AM

Filipino domestic helper Teresita (centre), 34, with the Ong family (from left) Samuel, 12, Madam Tan Hui Nah, 49, Mr Ong Ai Bin, 52, and Alexander, 23. The couple's 21-year-old daughter Charmaine is studying overseas. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM 

Mr Ong Ai Bin, 52
How he benefits
$500 SkillsFuture Credit, savings of $2,460 through the revamped concessionary Foreign Domestic Worker Levy.
He will also get higher CPF contribution rates and save on his son's exam fees, which would have cost him $900.
How other middle-class households benefit
Service and conservancy rebates and higher childcare subsidies.

FOR Mr Ong Ai Bin and his family, this year's Budget came as sweet news.

The 52-year-old general manager in a construction firm will not only pay less for his foreign domestic worker but also get government help for his aged parents.

The changes to the foreign domestic worker concessionary levy are especially timely as his son Samuel just turned 12. This would previously have meant that he has to pay the full levy of $265 instead of a subsidised $120 a month.

Yesterday, it was announced that the concessionary levy will be extended to families with children aged below 16, up from below 12. The subsidised levy will also be cut to $60 a month.

This means Mr Ong can save $2,460 a year.

Mr Ong, who has two other children in university, will also see his Central Provident Fund (CPF) contribution rate rise by 2 percentage points.

He said: "It is a good incentive, it gives us greater support and confidence, and shows they value our service."

The last time the Ong family received benefits from the Government was when Samuel was born in 2003. They received the Baby Bonus and cash incentives.

The Ongs also hope to donate more this year, after an increase in tax deductions for donations from 250 per cent to 300 per cent.

Said Mr Ong: "We are glad to give to those in need. For every dollar we give, the Government gives more than two, so this is a great incentive to donate."

The Straits Times/ Top of The News           Published on Wednesday, Feb 25, 2015

By Isaac New

Savings on maid levy, help for aged parents

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