Disabled car buyers exempted from car loan restrictions
Sighs of relief could be heard in pockets across the island as the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam announced on 7 March that people with physical disabilities or their caregivers will be exempted from the new car loan financing restrictions.
The rules were relaxed after the Government received feedback that the newly-imposed rules on car loan financing will adversely impact those truly in need of a vehicle, such as families of disabled people.
The conditions of the exemption in a nutshell:
Exemption for the purchase of only one motor vehicle;
The motor vehicle must be registered in the name of the borrower, who can be the physically disabled person or the caregiver of a physically disabled person.
A person will be considered a physically disabled person if he meets one of the following three criteria:
qualifies for payout under the ElderShield Scheme or the Interim Disability Assistance Programme for the Elderly; or
has been issued a car park label under the Car Park Label Scheme administered by the Centre for Enabled Living; or
has been certified by a physician appointed by the Ministry of Health (MOH) to be physically disabled and incapable of commuting by bus and Mass Rapid Transit. The list of MOH-appointed physicians for this purpose will be available from 15 April 2013 onwards.
Details can be found on the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s website www.mas.gov.sg/News-and-Publications/Press-Releases/2013/MAS-Exempts-Physically-Disabled-from-Financing-Restrictions-on-Motor-Vehicle-Loans.aspx
Acting Minister Chan Chun Sing to Steer the Implementation of the Enabling Masterplan
Acting Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing revealed in March that he will be chairing a committee to implement the Enabling Masterplan over the next four years.
The Masterplan, announced last year, is a five-year roadmap for support and programmes for people with disabilities. Mr Chan said that close to $180 million was spent last year on support programmes.
More will be done to help people with disabilities, for instance a $3.1 million grant to SMRT Taxis to bring in a fleet of 30 wheelchair accessible taxis by September this year to offer more transport options for the disabled, and the launch of a drop-in programme to care for those with milder needs and give their caregivers respite.