Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Coping with Inflation & Cost Of Living

$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

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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

What do young Singaporeans hope for their country in the next five years?

An affordable place to live in, a society that defines success beyond academic and material achievements, and jobs that offer a better work-life balance.

These were some of the findings of a new poll done by Singapore Polytechnic students, which aimed to find out about the aspirations of young Singaporeans.

Altogether, 825 people aged 15 to 35 took part in the survey, which was conducted face to face over three weeks last June. The respondents were representative of Singapore's youth population.

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Cost of living a major worry for young Singaporeans
Cost of living a major worry for young Singaporeans

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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6 in 10 young S'poreans look to go abroad to fulfil dreams

The survey also polled young people on their hopes for Singapore

Six in 10 young people have considered looking beyond Singapore to achieve their dreams, said a newly released Singapore Polytechnic survey.

Their top reasons for considering going overseas include the high cost of living here, having more opportunities and a slower pace of life overseas.

Respondents were not asked to specify if they were leaving for good or just for a period of time to work or study overseas.

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SINGAPORE INFLATION RATE

In November of 2013, Singapore's annual inflation rate edged up to 2.6 percent from 2 percetn in October. This increase largely reflected higher accommodation cost, which accounted for around half of the 0. 6 percent pickup in overall inflation. Price increases in all the other major CPI categories also inched up slightly in part due to the low base last year.

Accommodation cost rose by 3.3 percent, higher than the 1.9 percent increase in October when the disbursement of Service & Conservancy Charges rebates to HDB households had helped to lower the cost of “minor repairs and maintenance”.

Meanwhile, the increase in imputed rentals on owner-occupied accommodation  moderated slightly in November. Private road transport costs were up by 3.4 percent following an increase of 2.7 percent in October, mainly as a result of the rise in COE premiums.


Monthly Consumer Price Index, Singapore

This publication provides information on the changes in CPI for the reference month. It contains detailed data on the CPI at group, sub- group and section level and the percentage changes. A technical note describing the concepts, definitions and coverage of the CPI is also included in the report.


Singapore’s High Cost of Living May Come at a Cost

Singapore, one of Asia's largest financial centers, has seen a big inflow of expatriates in recent years. Now, as a sharp rise in the cost of living threatens high living standards, the city-state may well be at risk of becoming a victim of its own success.

Foreigners make up about 38 percent of Singapore's population, up from about 25 percent in 2000. More than 7,000 multinational companies operate in the city and expat workers are seen as key to developing Singapore, not just as a regional hub in finance but also in other sectors such as oil and gas.

Weak exports and a slowdown in the manufacturing sector hurt Singapore's economy last year, with the economy just avoiding a recession in the final three months of 2012.

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THE REAL COST OF LIVING IN SINGAPORE


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.

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Cost of Living in Singapore
Cost of Living in Singapore
Unfortunately, the cost of living in Singapore is rather high. However, salaries for expats are often generous, and income tax is fairly low. Our guide provides a helpful overview of key budget items and provides some tips for cost-conscious expatriates.

One of the original four “Asian Tigers”, the small city state has a prosperous economy and a well-to-do population. Though there is pronounced inequality with regard to income and wealth, Singapore also has the highest percentage of millionaires worldwide. The large number of affluent denizens is reflected in the cost of living in Singapore. When it comes to the cost of living in Singapore for expatriates, a glance at the Mercer Cost of Living Survey confirms the initial impression. In 2010, Singapore ranked as #11 of the most expensive expat destinations around the globe. One year later, it had moved up three ranks to #8. In 2012, it was listed as the 6th most expansive expat hotspot round the world.

On the other hand, Singapore has low income tax rates, so your net income will probably be larger than back home. When calculating your cost of living in Singapore, remember to take your increased net worth into account.

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Cost of Living in Singapore

At the time of writing, the cost of housing and apartment rental is at a low point, having become a victim of a global economic downturn. However, we are already seeing signs of recovery and fears of an expatriate mass exodus have abated. Housing is likely to rise in cost again as demand returns. We can therefore only give an outline to daily and monthly costs, which will also be largely dependent on your lifestyle and budget.

The Singapore government is keen to attract skilled immigrants and develop through foreign investment and provides a number of benefits. It is also relatively easy to qualify for permanent residence. Add to this a standard of living and income that is easily comparable with western Europe or North America, it's clear why Singapore has remained strong. It is expected to absorb more immigrants over the coming years, who will be attracted by the salaries and job opportunities, some of the best in Asia...

So we can expect to see continued stability in living costs and consumer purchasing power.

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Singapore Among World’s Most Expensive Cities

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.

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INFLATION IN SINGAPORE - HOW WILL IT AFFECT YOU?

Singapore's inflation rate hit 2 percent in October this year, up from 1.6 percent in September. Projected inflation for 2013 is between 2.5 – 3 percent.

The increase was attributed to a rise in private road transport cost, which itself is driven by the increase in premiums for Certificates of Entitlement that are needed to own a car here.

Inflation is calculated based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI). It measures price changes using a fixed basket of consumption goods and services commonly purchased by households over time. The weightage of the goods in the CPI basket is kept constant to a base period to ensure that any changes in the inflation rate reflect only price changes. Let’s take a look at some of the key categories and how they might affect Singaporeans:

related"
Survey: 65% of Singapore consumers worry about inflation
Rising cost of COE pushes inflation up to 2% in October
Inflation accelerates again in July, pushed by food and car prices
Incomes of Singaporeans adjusted for inflation expected to drop this year
Singapore September Inflation way above forecasts
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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.

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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.

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Cost of living likely to rise further this year



The cost of living is likely to go up further this year as the Government raised the inflation forecast yesterday. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Friday released its review on the consumer price index - the key inflation indicator - and reported an expected rise of 3.5 to 4.5 per cent this year, up by one percentage point, said The Straits Times.

Core inflation, which includes big ticket items like cars and housing as well as everyday necessities, is also expected to go up by one percentage point to 2.5 to 3 per cent this year.

The Government cited high oil prices and rising labour costs as reasons for the inflation. Singapore tightens monetary policy on solid growth Singapore's economy grows 9.9% in Q1

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DEALING WITH HIGH COST OF LIVING: WAGE MEASURES OR COST MEASURES


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

related:
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?

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6 issues on watch list

1 The silver lobby
2 The 'shift' in action
3 Standards for cyberspace
4 Managing foreign workers
5 Jostling for the next GE
6 Singapore@50

INDERJIT SINGH: GOVERNMENT HAS FAILED SWISS STANDARD PROMISE

While the report has some compelling arguments for the 6.9m population figure projected, we all know it is based mainly on economic considerations. Had we focused on things like building a cohesive nation with a strong national identity, the outcome would likely be very different.

I feel the time has come for us to find a better balance between economic growth and social cohesion and yes there will have to be tradeoffs of economic growth but I would rather trade some of these for a cohesive, united nation where people feel taken care of at home and are confident of their future. I am not saying we go for low or no growth. Instead I am willing to adjust my growth expectations for a more comfortable life for all Singaporeans. I am confident we will still be able to pursue respectable economic growth when companies and Singaporeans are faced with a situation of tightened labour availability by focusing on improving ourselves through productivity and higher value capabilities. Finland and other small nations have done, we can do it too.

Our past decade of rapid population growth has already created too many problems which need to be solved first before we take the next step. I call on the government to take a breather for five years, solve all the problems created by the past policies of rapid economic and population growth. 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, except for the higher income Singaporeans including foreigners who just recently decided to make Singapore their home. So I call for a breather in this quest of growing the population and focus on improving the lives of Singaporeans and achieve that promised Swiss Standard of living for most Singaporeans first before we plan our next growth trajectory.

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I FINALLY FOUND GOH CHOK TONG’S SWISS STANDARD OF LIVING


(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.

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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.


Singapore is ‘world’s costliest city to live in’


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 been voted the world’s most expensive destination. Picture: Supplied Source: News Limited

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
– WSJ: Is Singapore the World’s Costliest City? For Expats Only, Minister Says
– TOC: Cost of living – expats vs locals
– Jay Teo: Calm Down Sporeans, Our Country Is Not The Most Expensive For You
– 5 Stars & a Moon: “World’s Costliest” survey for expatriates and travellers
– Blogging for Myself: Really, SG is most expensive city?
– Mr. Miyagi: Don’t Eat Cheese And Don’t Drive
– Singapore Man of Leisure: Do you trust yourself?
– A Brit in Singapore: Singapore – the most expensive city to live in…
– Diary of An Expat in Singapore: Singapore: Most Expensive City in the World
– Everything Also Complain: Singapore is the most expensive city for expats only
– L.A.M.: L.A.M. on How to Survive in the World’s Most Expensive City
– Wall Street Journal: The World’s Most Expensive City Now Sits in Southeast Asia
– Money $mart: You Now Have The Right To Complain, Singapore Rank
– Benjamin Chiang: Sg may be ‘most expensive city’ but it’s important we know why
– Limpeh Foreign Talent: Is Spore really the most expensive city in the world to live in?
– L.A.M.: why the Most Expensive City in the World in 2014 is Singapore
– My Singapore News: World’s most expensive city!
– Neurotic Ramblings of a Sg Couple: 5 things more expensive in Australia than in SG
– The Little Things Yvonne & Janelle Do: Spore named the world’s most expensive city
– Cheated Singaporean: Incompetence of PAP resulting in rising cost of living
– New Nation: S’poreans saddened super high cost of living finally caught up with Sg
read more


Why do people hate Singapore?
Singapore: Best Place to Live and Work
Plight Of The Tissue Peddlers
Have you ever Spoken to a Cardboard Uncle or Aunty?
Singapore’s Story: What comes next
Singapore at 50: From swamp to skyscrapers
Singapore Good Old Times
The Poor & Homeless in Singapore
Support for the Needy and Elderly
The Singapore Story
Other Side of The Singapore Story
ChasingThe Singapore Dream
To Be Or Not To Be Singaporeans
Longing for the good old days
Singapore: A Sampan or a Cruise ship?
Singapore at 50: From swamp to skyscrapers
Singapore is ‘World’s Costliest City To Live In’
Coping with Inflation & Cost Of Living
COL goes Up, Up, Up!
Singapore “Swiss” Standard of Living
Tackling poverty the 'kuih lapis' way
Callings for a Poverty Line
Setting a poverty line may not be helpful
A minimum wage for Singapore?
No homeless,destitute starving people in S'pore:Poverty has been eradicated
Growing Up With Less