Singapore announces 1.08 billion USD support package to fight inflation

Wednesday, 2022-06-22 15:28:57
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People shop for vegetables at a wet market in Singapore. (Photo: Reuters)
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NDO/VNA - Singapore on June 21 announced a support package worth 1.5 billion SGD (about 1.08 billion USD) to provide immediate relief for vulnerable people and businesses amid rising inflation.

Vulnerable households will receive an additional goods and services tax (GST) Voucher - Cash Special Payment of up to 300 SGD in August and a 100-SGD utilities credit. Eligible taxi main hirers and private-hire car drivers will get a one-off relief of 150 SGD in August to offset higher fuel costs.

For businesses, there are higher subsidies for the Progressive Wage Credit Scheme. Accordingly, the co-funding share of eligible wage increases for local lower-wage workers under the scheme in 2022 will go up from 50 percent to 75 percent for resident employees with gross monthly wages up to 2,500 SGD. For wages above 2,500 SGD and up to 3,000 SGD, the co-funding will be raised from 30 percent to 45 percent.

An Energy Efficiency Grant will also be provided for local small- and medium-sized enterprises in the food services, food manufacturing and retail sectors to allow them adopt energy-efficient equipment and alleviate rising business costs due to higher energy prices.

This will benefit about 1.5 million lower-income to middle-income workers, as well as retirees without income, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong said at a press briefing to announce the package.

He anticipated price increases to continue in the coming months, saying in particular, energy prices are likely to remain elevated for the rest of the year.

Singapore’s core inflation rose by 3.3 percent in April, the highest since January 2012, compared to 2.9 percent of the previous month, according to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).