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Oral Answer by Ms Low Yen Ling , Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Manpower, to Parliamentary Question whether the foreign domestic worker levy can be waived for families with three or more children who are below 16 years of age

NOTICE PAPER NO. 1855 OF 2019 FOR THE SITTING ON 5 NOVEMBER 2019
QUESTION NO. 3223 FOR ORAL ANSWER


MP: Mr Ong Teng Koon 
To ask the Minister for Manpower whether the foreign domestic worker levy can be waived for families with three or more young children who are below 16 years of age. 

Answer 

  1. The number of foreign domestic workers (FDWs) in Singapore has increased substantially by about 40% in the last ten years. In 2018, there were over 250,000 FDWs in Singapore. It is not sustainable for the population of FDWs to grow unchecked.   
  2. To moderate the demand for FDWs in Singapore, a levy has been payable by employers since April 1982.  The levy is regularly reviewed and was last adjusted in April 2019 to $300 a month for employers without caregiving needs.  However, families with caregiving needs continue to enjoy the FDW concessionary levy rate of $60 a month.  This measure strikes a balance between managing FDW demand and the need for continuing support for Singaporean households with children, seniors and persons with disabilities. Currently, there are no plans to further reduce the FDW concessionary levy. 
  3. The Government also provides other forms of support for families with children, some of which offer even more assistance to larger families.  For example, the Baby Bonus Cash Gift, Child Development Account (CDA) and Medisave Grant for Newborns provide parents with up to $18,000 per child for their first and second child, and up to $26,000 per child for their third and fourth child, and up to $32,000 per child for their fifth and subsequent child. Parents with more children are also eligible for higher tax rebates and reliefs. As was announced recently, preschool subsidies will also be substantially enhanced.