A sound Singapore dollar policy and various programmes to help vulnerable families form part of a “moat” to protect Singapore from the “fire” that is rising cost of living, said Member of Parliament for Bishan Toa Payoh GRC Saktiandi Supaat.
“Parliamentarians, like myself, will continue to push to make sure some of the help can come in sooner rather than later. When crisis hits, it might be too late. So to protect it (Singapore), I think if you put the analogy of having a moat around Singapore, we have the Sing dollar policy, we have various programmes or schemes to help businesses to help Singaporean vulnerable families,” he said.
A moat is a deep, wide ditch surrounding a castle, fort, or town, typically filled with water and intended as a defence against attack.
He was talking about the issue of fuel price hikes on Jun 13, 2022 and how it not just affects drivers but everyone in Singapore in the Party’s latest video series called #MoneyMondays.
The economist cited some “fires” such as the Ukraine war and rising interest rates that contributed to the rising fuel prices which also brought about higher electricity bills and subsequently a higher cost of living.
“Globally, rising food and energy prices add to the costs of doing business for many companies ranging from grocers and restaurants to airlines and fertiliser producers. And they are passing or will be eventually pass those costs onto consumers. The US for example just released data last week highlighting that rising rents, gas and food prices have pushed U.S. inflation to 40-year high of 8.6 per cent.”
As a price taker, Singapore will feel the brunt and, like many other countries in the world, is not immune to the effects of inflation, he added.
And while higher fuel costs is an external situation beyond our control, Mr Saktiandi said that the government is trying to find other sources of fuel.
For instance, Second Minister for Trade and Industry Tan See Leng said in Parliament in April this year that plans are underway to multiply solar deployment in Singapore by four times to generate at least two gigawatt-peak of electricity by 2030.
“Beyond this, we will continue to explore other low-carbon alternatives such as hydrogen, geothermal and even nuclear energy, which may have the potential to improve our energy security and energy resilience,” Dr Tan added.
Mr Saktiandi ended off with a secret ingredient to combat the cost of living: working together.
“Most importantly, I think the the the secret ingredient for Singapore is all Singaporeans working together to make sure that we don’t the moat doesn’t run dry, because once the moat runs dry, the fire can easily come in coming into Singapore.”
Cover photo credit: PAP Facebook page