$360 million to help households especially low income and retirees to cope with cost of living
The government will provide $360 million of additional support to help households especially lower-income groups and retirees cope with their cost of living
There will be a special GST Voucher - Cash: Seniors' Bonus for Singaporeans aged 55 and above - effectively doubling the amount usually received.
Finance Minister, Tharman Shanmugaratnam explains:." Older Singaporeans are broadly most affected by increase in cost of living, especially retirees with little or no incomes."
The amount they will receive range from $100 to $250 depending on an assessable income of up to $26,000.
How do Singapore's poor families get by?
Nurhaida, 29, who is unemployed with six children in Singapore, says it is difficult to make ends meet
Nurhaida Binte Jantan is making dinner. She is roasting otah-otah, a Malay dish of fish paste wrapped in banana leaves, over a portable stove.
She is a 29-year-old unemployed single mother with six children from five to 13 years old. She lives in a tiny flat, just 30 square metres, with little furnishing.
There is no dining table, so the children eat their otah-otah with rice and chillies crouched on the floor.related:
Singapore's hidden poverty problem
Are Singapore's poor better off?
Singapore's mid-life crisis
Some seniors prefer help in cash to health subsidies
Cost of living issues, among them inflation and high transport fares, dominated concerns of seniors at a dialect dialogue session with Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Grace Fu yesterday, with a third of the questions posed focused on asking for more help such as in the form of cash, instead of health subsidies offered under the Pioneer Generation Package (PGP).
One of the 200 Yuhua elderly residents who attended the hour-long session at Jurong East Street 31 was an odd-job worker, who only wanted to be known as Mr Koh. The 73-year-old is one of many elderly who are feeling the pinch from the high costs of living. Every month, Mr Koh is left with only S$600 after paying his rent of S$500. “This is not enough for me to live on, and I can’t retire because of this,” he said in Mandarin.
In response, Ms Fu said medical subsidies were offered under the PGP because the move would benefit the highest number of elderly Singaporeans, while an initiative such as transport subsidies would benefit only some. And while many elderly folks do not use the public transport system, most would incur medical expenses, she added. At the same time, Ms Fu said, the focus on medical subsidies would free up some cash for them and take some pressure off their children.
'Cost of living a concern' for young S'poreans
The rising cost of living in Singapore, one of the world's richest countries, is a major concern for the young population, a survey conducted by Singapore Polytechnic has found.
In the last three weeks of June the Mass Media Research survey interviewed 825 people between the ages of 15-35 living in Singapore, and found that nearly 100 percent said financial stability was among their top three aspirations, along with strong family relationships and work-life balance. Nearly all participants also said they hoped to see Singapore as an affordable place to live in five years' time.
Singapore was recently ranked as the world's seventh most expensive city in Expatistan's Cost of Living index, while its property market is among the world's top ten most expensive, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Singapore’s inflation at 4-year-low in January
Singapore's consumer price index (CPI) rose 1.4 per cent in January from a year ago, slowing from December's 1.5 per cent increase as the lower cost of transportation offset a rise in food prices.
The 1.4 per cent gain in January's CPI was the lowest since February 2010 when prices rose 1.0 per cent.
Food prices increased 3.0 per cent last month from a year ago, partly due to this year's Chinese New Year celebration taking place in January instead of February.
What Future Do We Want?
What are Singaporeans' priorities today and what do they hope for the future? We surveyed over 4,000 respondents in the Our Singapore Conversation (OSC) Survey to supplement what we were already hearing from Singaporeans at dialogues and online.
Conducted by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) in conjunction with the OSC Secretariat, the survey aimed to get a snapshot of Singaporeans' priorities, values and preferences.
Housing, healthcare and job security were among the top areas of priority that Singaporeans hoped to see addressed today and they were also the same topics which resulted in the passionate discussions at OSC dialogues.
Singapore workers tread water on millionaires' island
Patricia and Sham: 'Knowing how rich some people are in Singapore, I think we are poor.' Photograph: Marc Nair for the Guardian
It is a balmy Saturday afternoon in the suburbs of Singapore. Patricia, 21, and her partner Sham, 28, share their first meal of the day: a box of chicken nuggets at McDonald's. "It's getting much harder to survive in Singapore," Patricia says between bites. "I love my job, but my pay doesn't match up to the cost of living here. But what choice do I have?"
Patricia recently moved out of her parents' house to be with Sham. In Singapore, with its sky-high housing prices and conservative Asian values, most young people have no choice but to live with their parents until they get married. Singles cannot apply for public housing until they turn 35.
Patricia works full time as a nurse in a government hospital. She is undereducated by Singapore's standards, with only n-levels (below high school) and an ITE (technical college) certificate in nursing, and earns S$1,400 (£670) per month.
Singapore inflation moderated to 2.4% in 2013
According to a joint release by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Ministry of Trade and Industry, for the whole of 2013, CPI-All Items inflation averaged 2.4%, sharply lower than the 4.6% in 2012.
CPI-All Items inflation fell to 1.5% in December from 2.6% in the preceding month, mainly reflecting the decline in private road transport cost.
Private road transport cost decreased by 2.8% in December, following the 3.4% rise in November, on account of lower COE premiums. The recent weakness in car COE premiums partly reflected a high base as premiums surged in the same period one year earlier.
Cost of living going up? Here are 30 ways to cope
You've heard it before - desperate people need desperate measures. If you are one of those who have been worrying about the pending increase in your cost of living and are wondering how to make ends meet in 2014, the frugal list below may come in handy for you.
You may not have been so frugal before but learning one frugal lesson at a time can certainly help you find 'new money'. Who knows, in 30 days you might even surprise yourself.
Check this out.
related: 30 ways to cope with rising cost of living
6 in 10 young S'poreans look to go abroad to fulfil dreams
Sure we might be one of the world’s richest countries. And yes, Singapore can be pretty pricey. But in a country of $26,000 cocktails, $3 meals, and a ridiculous amount of government subsidies (not that we’re complaining), it’s hard to judge how much it really takes to live here. So we asked former Melburnian, Lucy Cleeve, who moved to Singapore a year ago, about the real cost of living in Singapore. Here’s her take.
Salaries/Taxes - One of the first things you learn about Singapore is its low tax rates. Australia’s individual taxes can reach 45% but in Singapore 20% is the maximum. Welcome to Singapore, the land of the free (increase in take home pay). But while your salary may go up, so do a few costs.
OK. You probably know by now that in Singapore some people own multiple Ferraris, and probably have diamonds on their diamonds. Some people certainly do not. Some things cost a bomb, some are dirt cheap. Singapore is a city of contrasts.
Cost of Living in Singapore
People walk by the bridge outside Louis Vuitton’s nautical concept store that opened at Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands casino complex in September
Moving to Singapore? Start saving: The city-state is one of most expensive cities in the world – 42% more expensive than New York – topping London, Frankfurt and Hong Kong. The Southeast Asian city joins Tokyo, Osaka and Kobe as one of the world’s top ten most expensive cities, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s annual cost-of-living survey, increasingly proving that Asian cities are no longer just a cheaper outpost for expats and multinationals.
Though a European city – Zurich – is still the world’s most expensive, Tokyo was the runner up, with Singapore now listed as the world’s 9th most expensive city. Singapore was listed as the 6th most expensive last year, but remarkably was ranked 97th in 2001.
The survey uses prices of goods and services such as food, transportation, housing, utilities, private schools and domestic help to calculate scores for each city, using New York as its base with a score of 100. Zurich and Tokyo scored 170 and 166, respectively, indicating that they are about 70% and 66% more expensive to live in than New York.
Happy, but stresses of work, cost of living are increasing
“Can we ever be a happy society?”, caught my attention.
Being a mother of two, I am a happy Singaporean because we are a peaceful society with minimal disasters.
However, we have unhappy moments arising from lots of stress.
RISING COST OF LIVING IN SINGAPORE, WHO IS TO BLAME?
Based on the latest statistics from Singstat [Source], Singapore’s consumer price index(CPI) has continued its general upward trend in all aspects today by about 5.5% higher than it was during GE2011 in May 2011. Leading the CPI increases are Transport, Housing, Food and Healthcare, to which the PAP have failed to reign on soaring prices even when the Sing dollar has appreciated.
The increasing cost of living in Singapore has been a key cause of concern for most Singaporeans who are finding it increasingly hard to survive on the backdrop of dropping wages brought upon the PAP’s policy to increase its voters base. Recently, the PAP tried to manage cost increase by introducing a series of cooling measures in Transport and Housing. However, none of the new government policies worked out with property prices still increasing [Source] and COE prices remaining unaffordable to the average Singaporean.
It is apparent that the cost of living in Singapore will continue to increase because of the increase in domestic demand from an increasing population. The influx of new citizens, Permanent Residents and Foreigners are pushing prices higher to the point where Singaporeans are seeing a dip in their quality of life. The middle class and the low income families are the hardest hit, aside from having a free flow of cheap foreign labor to depress their salary growth over the last 5 years [Source], most Singaporeans are putting off saving, retirement planning and family planning due to the relentless rise in cost of living [Source]. Having grown disillusioned with the PAP’s empty promises to keep costs low, Singaporeans are turning to the electoral polls to reflect their unhappiness with the PAP’s incompetency to get anything done. In the recent by-election in Punggol East, the PAP candidate was humiliated with a record low 43.71% result in the PAP’s incumbent ward.
Cost of living likely to rise further this year
The cost of living in Singapore is high. However, one question is whether we should lead off with wage measures, cost measures, or both at the same time. I’d like to weigh in with a less that rigorously considered opinion.
Wage measures include things like a minimum wage, wage credits, and what we call WorkFare. A minimum wage is a government stipulated floor on income, and the latter two are measures to subsidize wage bills. Cost measures, on the other hand, seek to leave people with more money after expenditure on necessities.
The Effects of Such Measures - When one would have more money after dealing with necessities, one often does not save it all. One might decide to treat oneself to a little something — some consumer electronics, for instance. One might choose to move upmarket with respect to one or more consumption categories — hawker food to food-court food perhaps. One might even move into new categories of consumption, such as family holidays. Simply speaking, standards of living rise. That is, unless inflation rears its ugly head. I will not touch on inflation at this point. Perhaps because I do not think I have the expertise to touch on the matter of inflation as intelligently (or as comprehensively) as I would like to
The cost of living is much higher in the new estates
High COE will lead to higher cost of living
Singapore cost of living sees pawnshops thriveIs
Cost of Living in SIngapore really affordable as claimed by the PAP?
(Inderjit Singh: “We can safely say that we have failed to achieve the goal set by the then Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong, of a Swiss standard of living for most Singaporeans.”)
Goh Chok Tong, ex PM, promised Singaporeans we would achieve a Swiss standard of living. Many have been deeply disappointed (and are now cursing) that we only managed to attain a Swiss cost of living instead.
Perhaps Chok Tong had a memorable vacation in Switzerland but unrealistically wanted to emulate the Swiss without realising that we are actually only a little red dot with less than 50 years of history. Numerical targets were set and the GDP became his narrow yardstick.
Oops, The Economy Broke: Reasons for Singapore’s Inflation Scare
Did you have breakfast this morning? I sure as hell didn’t. Or rather I did, but then I read the news and upchucked four hot cakes from sheer shock. The consumer price index was at 5.2% in March, and may hit 6%. Our inflation’s growing faster than my waistline, and I’m Singapore’s most popular model…for the “Before” pictures in weight loss ads. But what’s causing our economy to bloat like Steven Segal after 40? Read on and find out:
How Bad Is Our Inflation?
The consumer price index (CPI) checks the price difference of a market basket of goods over time. So a CPI of 5.2% suggests, in a very simplified way, that most of what you buy will cost 5.2% more. Unless you’ve gotten a matching raise in your pay, it means you now have less money. And apart from everything costing more, the inflation eats into your bank savings. Your bank’s interest rate (even for fixed and structured deposits) are nowhere near the 5.2% inflation. So if you have a savings deposit, you may as well lock your money in a room with a lighter and an arsonist.
The Republic has become the world’s most expensive city to live in, a report from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) showed yesterday, but local economists said Singapore will remain attractive for foreign businesses and expatriates with its good governance, robust infrastructure and quality workforce.
In the latest EIU report, Worldwide Cost of Living, Singapore jumped five spots from last year to go to the top of a list of 131 cities, ahead of Paris in second place and Oslo in third, while Tokyo — last year’s first — dropped to sixth due to a sharply weaker yen.
This marks a huge leap from a decade ago when the Republic ranked 18th in the same survey. But the EIU described Singapore’s rise as “steady rather than spectacular”, due partly to the 40 per cent appreciation in the local currency in 10 years.
Cost of living reports do not reflect costs for locals: DPM Tharman
Cost of living reports — such as the one released by the Economist Intelligence Unit which ranked Singapore as the costliest place to live in — are meant to measure cost of living for expatriates in various parts of the world, and thus do not reflect those of local residents, said Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam today (Mar 5).
There are two things which make a big difference when comparing cost of living for expatriates and locals, Mr Tharman said, as he wrapped up the Budget debate in Parliament.
The first is currency, he said. In Singapore’s case, the Singapore dollar has strengthened over the years, and this means it is more expensive for expatriates who are paid in a foreign currency. A stronger Singapore dollar also improves lives in Singapore, as purchasing power for item is improved.
Life in the world's most expensive city - Seah Chiang Nee
Singaporeans will likely huddle around their TV sets in June to watch World Cup soccer – but only if they pay, once again, a fee higher than anyone else on earth.
To cynics, this is merely in keeping with their newly declared status of belonging to the world’s most expensive city. In 2010, the cable companies bid so high for the telecast rights that they charged fans S$70.50 (RM181) to watch. Negotiations are still on, but the costs are likely to be at least as high. This World Cup TV cost is probably the best way to describe how ordinary Singaporean lives are affected.
That we are a top high-cost place has been known to us for some time, but few Singaporeans – if any – had imagined we would be Number One. Full story
DPM THARMAN: EIU'S RECENT COST OF LIVING REPORT DOESN'T APPLY TO LOCALS
The EIU survey had placed Singapore as the number 1 most expensive city in the world
As Singaporeans lament over the rising cost of living in Singapore with the recent report released by the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) confirming our sentiments, DPM Tharman has come out to say that these reports do not actually reflect the situation faced by locals.
However, Tharman explained that these rankings measure costs for expats from around the world rather than the costs faced by locals.
The main difference, he explained is the fact that expats are much more heavily impacted by exchange rates so when Singapore's currency is strong, Singapore will become much more expensive to live in.
Singapore’s No. 1 ranking in EIU Cost of Living Survey
Mr Tharman said the strengthening of the Singapore dollar makes Singapore goods expensive for someone who is paid in a foreign currency. Firstly, many expatriates are given the choice of being paid in Singapore dollars. Secondly, the EIU cost of living survey ranks countries based on prices of goods and services only, it does not rank countries based on how affordable goods and services are relative to salaries. Singapore’s No.1 ranking in the EIU cost of living survey has everything to do with prices and nothing to do with salaries or the currency of salaries. Therefore, Mr Tharman’s argument about someone being paid in a foreign currency is completely irrelevant in so far as Singapore is No.1 ranking in the EIU cost of living survey is concerned.
Since most goods in Singapore are imported, the strengthening of the Singapore dollar vis-a-vis the USD will not affect the USD price of these imported goods.
Mr Tharman also said that a stronger Singapore dollar makes imported goods cheaper. But the reality is that Singapore’s imported goods have become more expensive, not cheaper. The strengthening of the Singapore dollar merely allows importers to make better margins without necessarily lowering the prices of the goods they import.
The world’s most expensive city revealed
Singapore has dethroned the Japanese capital to become the world’s most expensive city in 2014, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s latest Worldwide Cost of Living survey.
The biannual report, which ranks 131 global cities, credits currency appreciation, solid price inflation and high costs of living for Singapore’s dubious new distinction.
“Car costs have very high related certificate of entitlement fees attached to them, which makes Singapore significantly more expensive than any other location when it comes to running a car,” says the report.
Singapore is the world's costliest city, Mumbai, Delhi cheapest
Singapore has topped a list of 131 cities globally to become the world's most expensive cities to live in 2014, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), reported by the BBC. India's major cities - including Mumbai and New Delhi - were found to be among the least expensive in the world.
Mumbai's prices are kept low by large income inequality, this BBC report stated, adding that the low wages of many of the city's workers keep spending low, and government subsidies have helped them stay that way.
Singapore's strong currency combined with the high cost of running a car and soaring utility bills contributed to Singapore topping the list. Incidentally, Singapore is also the most expensive place in the world to buy clothes.
SDP: HERE'S HOW WE CAN MAKE SINGAPORE LESS EXPENSIVE
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has, perhaps not surprisingly, named Singapore the most expensive city in the world. But rather than just lash out at the PAP Government for this dubious achievement, the SDP will propose constructive measures to lower the cost of living for Singaporeans
First, housing is extremely expensive in Singapore because of of high HDB prices. Young couples nowadays have to borrow huge amounts of money to pay off their housing loans, usually for 25 to 30 years using their CPF funds. This, of course, deprives us of our retirement income.
Second, much of the dramatic rise in living expenses can be traced to the massive influx of foreigners. With more people, the demand for housing and cars (COEs) escalate. At the same time, wages are depressed especially for lower-income workers.
The third item that makes Singapore so expensive for our citizens is healthcare costs. The SDP has proposed in our National Healthcare Plan that the government pays the bulk of the premiums in a national insurance scheme called the National Health Investment Fund (NHIF).
Singapore named the world's most expensive city
Singapore has been moving up the ranks of the world's most expensive cities to live in over the last decade
Singapore has topped 131 cities globally to become the world's most expensive city to live in 2014, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
The city's strong currency combined with the high cost of running a car and soaring utility bills contributed to Singapore topping the list. It is also the most expensive place in the world to buy clothes.
Singapore replaces Tokyo, which topped the list in 2013.
Singapore, the Most Expensive City in the World