Saturday, 26 July 2008

My emails to different Government Bodies (III)

My 3rd email, this time is to IRAS:


Would like to know if single mums are eligible for:

1) parenthood tax rebate
2) foreign maid levy relief
3) grandparents caregiver relief
4) working mothers' child relief

From the website it says; women who are married, divorced or widowed are entitled to these reliefs.

Nothing was mentioned about single mums.

Thank you.

Their reply:

Dear Lilian,

We regret to inform that single female taxpayers are not eligible to claim for the reliefs mentioned in your email.

FOO Maw Yaw
Assistant Manager (Employee Branch - Individual Income Tax Division)| Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore
(65) 6351 3051 (DID) | (65) 6351 3636 (fax)

In my 2nd email, I asked for clearer clarification:


Thanks for response.

Even if these single female tax-payers are mothers too?

Their reply:

Dear Lilian,

That's right.

FOO Maw Yaw
Assistant Manager (Employee Branch - Individual Income Tax Division)| Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore
(65) 6351 3051 (DID) | (65) 6351 3636 (fax)


Salary said...

Yes, PAP sees only families with marriage certificates as real families and entitle to all these benefits. No marriage certificate, then it is not a family even when the parent and child standing in front of them.

Anonymous said...

Mon, May 16, 2005


27. Mr Steve Chia Kiah Hong asked the Prime Minister and Minister for Finance whether a more open and caring Singapore society includes single unwed mothers and their children and, if so, what fiscal policy measures are in store to help such mothers cope with the difficulties of single parenting.

Mr Lee Hsien Loong:

The Government cannot, and should not, be a surrogate father or family to replace the missing fathers or families who should be supporting these single unwed mothers. Neither should we be encouraging women to make single parenthood a lifestyle choice. Government's view is that two-parent families provide the best environment for our children to grow up in and fulfill their potential. Society supports this view. I hope Mr Chia is not suggesting otherwise.

The Government provides direct help for these mothers to care for their children so that the children are not disadvantaged. They can qualify for maternity leave and childcare leave under the Employment Act, and are eligible for infantcare and childcare subsidies. They can also rent or buy a flat from HDB jointly with their parents. If they are aged 35 and above, they can buy a resale flat or pair up with another eligible single to rent a flat from HDB.

Their children get the same education benefits as any other Singaporean child. They pay the same school fees, enjoy Edusave grants and qualify for the same scholarships and bursaries. No Singaporean child will be denied an education because of the circumstances of his birth.

Most importantly, an open and caring society is not just about Government providing assistance. It is also about families and the community stepping forward to do their part. I am glad to hear that ABN-AMRO, together with Project Wings by our 10 women PAP MPs, has organised a financial skills programme to help single mothers. I hope there will be more of such community initiatives and family support to help single parents manage the challenges of raising children.

Anonymous said...

PAP mindset on unwed mothers:

But perhaps we should pause a moment to think this question over. If
the government should do this, would we be encouraging young girls to
bear children outside the protection and care of a stable family? We
say that strong families are the foundation of our society. Would we
not be sending mixed signals by encouraging young teens to embrace
single parenthood?

I have no doubt that single mothers can love their children as much as
anyone else. Many have become single mothers not by choice, but by
circumstances. Some, tragically, are widowed. Others, unhappily, are

But these are different circumstances from choosing to be a single,
unwed mother. If it is up to you to choose a model for young people,
which would you pick? A family where the parents are ready and
prepared to make a commitment to each other, and to take on the
responsibility of bringing up a child? Or an unwed mother - herself
perhaps not quite ready to face life alone, not quite done with her
schooling, not quite prepared to for the responsibilities which come
with parenthood?

Should we say to our youth that being an unwed mother is OK? That such
a form of family is just as good, just as acceptable, just as
desirable for our society?

Jolene said...

Hi Lillian

I saw your message on Sam's blog. This is an interesting blog you have here: thanks for writing about these topics. Glass Castle will probably write a feature about the issue of paid maternity leave entitlement for single mothers soon, but these are other angles I hadn't thought about.

If there are any topics you think we should highlight, or indeed if you would like to contribute a piece or think we can work together in any way, do let us know. Our email is glasscastlezine at gmail dot com, or you can leave a message on our blog.


- Jolene (

Jolene said...

p.s. thanks for mentioning the event, sadly I am not based in Singapore, so I won't be able to attend, but I hope it goes well.

Thank you for visiting