Singapore Govt Unveils Additional Relief Measures For Households

Economy

Singapore’s government rolled out an additional S$1.5 billion support package for all households to cope with higher inflation and cost of living concerns.

The package is intended to provide more support for lower-to middle-income groups, the Ministry of Finance said Friday. The better-than-expected fiscal out-turn in the first half of the fiscal 2022 will provide fund for the package.

The latest package was in addition to the comprehensive measures unveiled earlier this year to cushion the impact of rising inflation.

The latest announcement came after the Monetary Authority of Singapore tightened its monetary policy stance for the fourth time this year. The de facto central bank forecast core inflation to stay around 5 percent for the rest of this year.

Data published by the Ministry of Industry and Trade on Friday showed that the city-state economy expanded 4.4 percent in the third quarter, slightly slower than the 4.5 percent growth in the second quarter.

As a small, open economy, Singapore is particularly susceptible to imported price pressures, through channels such as food and energy, the ministry said.

Domestically, a tight labor market continues to support strong wage growth. “As such, we must be prepared for inflation to stay elevated for some time,” the ministry said.

The latest relief measure includes cash, vouchers and public transport subsidies.

A special cash payment of up to S$500 will be paid to 2.5 million adult Singaporeans. This will be disbursed in December this year, together with the Assurance Package for GST cash payout announced at Budget 2022.

Every Singaporean household will receive an additional S$100 Community Development Council Vouchers next January.

Further, the government will also provide 600,000 public transport vouchers for resident households with monthly household income per person of not more than S$1,600.

The government will set aside about S$200 million in the October cost-of-living package to cover the 10.6 percent-point fare increase that will be carried over to future fare review exercises as announced by the Public Transport Council on October 12.

The Ministry of Education will raise the income eligibility criteria for financial assistance schemes to defray school expenses for more students.

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