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Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Budget 2015 - Working mum looking forward to tax rebate, lower maid levy.


Working mum looking forward to tax rebate, lower maid levy 

Published on Feb 25, 2015 1:31 AM



(From left) Ms Jenny Tan, her children - Jolene, 11, Xavier, 10, and Kristy, five - and her mother-in-law, Madam Goh Siew Cheng, along with her domestic helper, Ms Wijiati, will benefit from the Budget measures. Ms Tan intends to give the savings from the lower maid levy to Ms Wijiati. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN - 

SECRETARY Jenny Tan's favourite goodie in Budget 2015 is the lower maid levy, which will be halved to $60 a month from May 1.

The 40-year-old, who gets the concessionary levy as her children are aged below 16, is giving the savings to her Indonesian maid of 10 years as a pay rise. "It is more important that she is happy," she said.

Ms Wijiati, 44, who, like many Indonesians goes by one name, said she would send the extra $720 a year to her family in Sumatra.

Said Ms Tan: "The amount is a lot when converted to rupiah."

She is also looking forward to the personal income tax rebate of 50 per cent, capped at $1,000, to be given this year. Together, she and her senior manager husband make $10,000 a month.

As they live in a five-room Housing Board flat, they will also get a service and conservancy charge rebate of 11/2 months.

Ms Tan's mother-in-law, 67, who does not work and lives with them, is likely to qualify for a $900 cash payout from the GST Voucher scheme's Seniors' Bonus.

The couple appreciate as well the removal of fees for all national examinations, a move that will benefit their three children aged five, 10 and 11 as they get older. "The savings from each are not significant, but if you add them all up, they help," said Ms Tan.

While the Budget will have "a good impact on us in time to come", there will be little immediate effect on the family's expenses, she added.

What puts a dent in her wallet are childcare fees, which come up to $500 a month after subsidies.
"Our childcare subsidy went up (last year), but the childcare operator raised its fee, so in the end we were not better off.

"Whether the Budget really, really eases the pressure for sandwiched-class families like mine remains to be felt," she said.

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

 By Charissa Yong                                                                     charyong@sph.com.sg
                                             
Working mum looking forward to tax rebate, lower maid levy



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