Town councils (TCs) are responsible for managing and maintaining the common property in HDB estates. They fund their operations through the Service and Conservancy Charges (S&CC) they collect from residents.
They have to manage their finances prudently to sustain their services. Periodically, they would also have to revise their S&CC to meet residents’ expectation, improve service and keep pace with rising cost.
Last year, for example, the TCs’ operating expenses were estimated to be about $470 million. S&CC collections would have to cover these costs for the TCs to operate viably. To reduce the burden on the residents, the Government has been helping the TCs and the residents through (a) S&CC grants to TCs, and (b) S&CC rebates for residents.
The quantum of the Government assistance is substantial.
Together, these two Government assistance schemes, at $167 million, translate to about 36% of TCs’ operating expenses. This is quite substantial and helps reduce the financial burden on residents.
Budget 2014 is once again giving S&CC grants and S&CC rebates of $170 million. As S&CC rebates offer more help for those living in smaller flats, residents pay 8% to 25% less in S&CC as a result. HDB households which qualify will receive a letter this week with details of the rebates they will receive.
This is a good practical way to help Singaporeans with cost of living.
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