According to the latest Worldwide Cost of Living Survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), Singapore, Hong Kong and Paris have been ranked jointly as the world’s most expensive city to visit and live in.
The biannual survey of 133 global cities, which was released today (19 Mar), compares more than 400 individual prices across 160 products and services in each city. These include food, drink, clothing, household supplies and personal-care items, as well as home rents and transport.
Coincidentally, ST also published a news today (19 Mar) saying that NTUC FairPrice has pledged to freeze the prices of 100 FairPrice house brand products for the next 15 months so as to “help moderate the rising cost of living and protect shoppers from price fluctuations”.
NTUC said more than half of these products have already had their prices slashed by up to 30 per cent as of yesterday (18 Mar), in order to “ensure all items in the basket of goods are priced at least 20 per cent cheaper than comparable leading brands”.
The 100 products include rice, cooking oil, poultry, toiletries and household cleaning products. They have been selected to represent popular daily essentials purchased by the average Singapore household, NTUC said.
Hence, with NTUC willing to hold prices for the next 15 months, Singaporeans would not see any price increase in those 100 products in NTUC FairPrice until June 30 next year.
Members of the Merdeka Generation will also soon be able to enjoy a 3 per cent discount on purchases at all FairPrice outlets on every Wednesdays, NTUC added.
NTUC FairPrice chief executive and MP Seah Kian Peng told media that this is the first time it is freezing the prices of a basket of goods for “such a long period”.
NTUC secretary-general and Cabinet Minister Ng Chee Meng said the range of FairPrice house brand products that will have their prices frozen, offer savings of “up to 38 per cent” and are “of good quality”. For example, he said that his household saves about 25 per cent on grocery bills by using FairPrice’s house brand products.
Meanwhile, constitutionally, the next parliamentary general election must be held the latest by 15 January 2021. But Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who is also the Secretary General of People’s Action Party, himself has said that it could be held this year.
If NTUC Fairprice is slashing and holding the prices of their house brand products till middle of next year in view of the looming GE, Singaporeans should perhaps thank PM Lee instead for considering to hold the GE this year.