Budget 2023 and you: What the measures mean for a young family

Ms Jayasutha Samuthiran, 32, with her husband, Gouthaman Haridass, 34, and their daughter Milir. The young family intends to expand their family but are mindful of rising costs.

SINGAPORE – With inflation and the overall cost of living on the rise, Ms Jayasutha Samuthiran and her husband, who have a one-year-old daughter, have had to sit down to review their daily expenses and cut back on holidays to save money. 

The financial number crunching is even more pressing for the couple as they plan to have more children, which will incur higher expenses.

That means that they will both have to keep working full-time — Ms Samuthiran, 32, as a global brand manager at a corporation and her husband, Gouthaman Haridass, 34, in the financial technology (fintech) sector.

What is concerning for the couple is that they both work in the private sector, which is volatile and subject to changing market conditions, especially the field of her husband’s work.

Everything in the supermarkets has gone up (in terms of prices). Even though we’ve tried to cut back on some expenses, we can still feel the pinch.

Ms Jayasutha Samuthiran, 32, a global brand manager and mother

Ms Samuthiran said that the Budget 2023 measures will definitely help to alleviate some of the expenses, but the amount will probably not defray costs significantly.


Budget 2023: Baby Bonus cash gift to go up by S$3,000, paid paternity leave doubled to help couples start or grow families

“Everything in the supermarkets has gone up (in terms of prices). Even though we’ve tried to cut back on some expenses, we can still feel the pinch,” she told TODAY.

“But my family is lucky to be privileged, in the sense that we have savings and earn well, so we may not feel the pinch as much as lower-income groups. But prices going up will still affect us, and the prices won’t come down.” 

The couple still plan to go ahead and expand their family, though, because they believe that the joys of raising a child will be worth it. 

The young family is living at the house of Ms Samuthiran’s parents while they wait for their new condominium to be ready. 

They are one of many families set to benefit from the various increased financial support for parents, as well as the enhanced Assurance Package, unveiled by Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong in Parliament on Tuesday (Feb 14). 


Among the enhancements to the Assurance Package is the extra S$100 Community Development Council Vouchers in January 2024, and the one-off S$400 top-up to their son’s Child Development Account from September this year.


Budget 2023: Cash payouts of between S$700 and S$2,250 over 5 years for adult S’poreans as part of enhanced Assurance Package

In addition, through the Assurance Package, families will receive extra cash of between S$300 and S$650 in December every year until 2026, and eligible households living in public flats will receive rebates double the amount of the regular Goods and Services Tax (GST) vouchers periodically this year.

Singaporeans aged 21 years and above with an assessable income of not more than S$100,000, who do not own more than one property, will also receive a one-off cash payout between S$200 and S$400, while eligible senior citizens will receive cash between S$200 and S$300 in June this year.

Singaporean children will also receive one-off top ups of S$400 to their Child Development Account for those aged six years and below, and S$300 to their Edusave and Post-Secondary Education Account for those aged between seven and 16 years, and 17 and 20 years respectively.

In total, the increased financial support will enhance the Assurance Package from S$6.6 billion to S$9.6 billion, to support families through inflation and the GST hike to 9 per cent, due to take effect in January next year.

Ms Samuthiran said that the Child Development Account top-up will be most helpful to defray her child’s preschool fees, which can be expensive. 

This is all the more crucial for her since she is likely to enrol her daughter in a premium Montessori school, because she has been facing difficulties finding an available spot at mainstream preschool centres such as Sparkletots.


Budget 2023: In ‘new era’ of great power contestation, Singapore unveils S$104.2b spending to reposition economy, buttress households

On the other hand, she said that she does not think the increased Baby Bonus offers an incentive that is good enough to encourage couples to have more children.

Under the new Budget 2023 measures, the Baby Bonus cash gift will increase by S$3,000 for all Singaporean children born from Feb 14, 2023.

“The amount of Baby Bonus is not enough to significantly defray the costs of raising a child. People don’t make decisions to have more kids or not based on Baby Bonus,” Ms Samuthiran said.

“Those who want to have kids will have them regardless of the existence of Baby Bonus or not. But it definitely helps. It’s very helpful, so the Government should keep them coming.”

Overall, Ms Samuthiran acknowledges her privileged position and is glad that the allocation of Budget 2023 will provide more financial relief for the lower-income groups.

“All the tax reliefs and Budget measures are great especially for lower-income households. I’m happy that my tax dollars are going to the right place, to the lower-income families. I do recognise my privilege, so I don’t complain about rising prices,” she said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *