TIME-LIMITED SPECIAL FUNDING SUPPORT FOR TOWN COUNCILS TO DEAL WITH HIGHER COST OF MAINTENANCE
In the MND Committee of Supply Debate, I highlighted the issue of higher maintenance costs on the part of the Town Council owing to various factors and sought assistance from the Government to address the problem. In response, SMS Sim Ann informed that the Government will be introducing time-limited special funding support for Town Councils to deal with the higher costs. I filed a PQ seeking details about this plan. In his response, Minister Desmond Lee informed that more details will be shared when ready. My PQ and his answer may be accessed below.
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Mr Murali Pillai asked the Minister for National Development whether he can provide details of the time-limited special funding support for Town Councils announced on 2 March 2023 to deal with the higher cost of maintenance and external factors such as the spike in energy prices.
Mr Desmond Lee: To offset the costs of estate maintenance for Town Councils (TCs) and residents, the Government has been providing substantial grants of around $240 million a year to TCs via the Service & Conservancy Charges (S&CC) Operating Grant, the GST Subvention Grant, the Lift Maintenance Grant and the Lift Replacement Fund Matching Grant.
Given the sharp and steep cost increases faced by TCs due to external factors such as COVID-19, the Russia-Ukraine conflict and global supply crunch, the Ministry of National Development (MND) had provided additional funding support to TCs for projects under the Neighbourhood Renewal Programme (NRP) and Community Improvement Projects Committee (CIPC) in May 2022.
In addition to the above support measures, the Government is prepared to provide further support to TCs considering the exceptional and sustained cost pressures faced by TCs. As mentioned during the Committee of Supply Debate on 2 March 2023, to support TCs that need to adjust their S&CC rates to meet long-term financial sustainability, the Government will provide a time-limited, special funding support to cushion the potential impact on residents. More details will be shared with TCs when ready.