SINGAPORE: NTUC FairPrice will continue to freeze the prices of 100 housebrand items at its supermarkets until the end of the year as part of a S$50 million package to alleviate living costs for households amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The items include daily essentials and groceries like rice, oil, beverages, as well as batteries, toiletries and household cleaners, said NTUC Enterprise in a media release on Monday (Jun 22).
Diapers, UHT milk, bread and detergent are also included in the list.
NTUC Enterprise said that the initiative is part of a S$50 million package aimed at “providing holistic support for Singaporeans and helping them manage the cost of living in 2020”.
“The package reaffirms the commitment and timeliness of NTUC Enterprise to support Singaporeans, especially during difficult times,” it said.
The price freeze initiative, which was launched in March 2019, was supposed to run until Jun 30 this year. It will now be extended until Dec 31.
“This six-month extension helps cushion Singaporeans against potential price increases, regardless of changes in supply, socio-economic factors and external factors that could affect food prices, especially during the current volatile and uncertain climate,” said the company.
The initiative was initially supposed to run for 15 months and provide shoppers with savings of approximately S$17.8 million. The extension will provide an additional S$6.7 million in savings.
NTUC Enterprise added that this price freeze will also act as “a benchmark for prices in general of everyday essentials”, ensuring they remain affordable.
The company said that in 2019, the costs of 38 of the 100 housebrand items saw increases of up to 10 per cent. This amounted to more than S$350,000 which FairPrice has absorbed.
EXTENSION OF DISCOUNTS FOR ELIGIBLE SENIORS
NTUC Enterprise also announced that it will extend the validity of its various programmes to provide cost savings for eligible seniors for another six months until Dec 31.
This includes existing Monday to Wednesday discounts at FairPrice for Merdeka Generation (MG), Pioneer Generation (PG) and Senior Citizens, and discounts on insurance, personal home care services and day centre services for MG and PG members.
The extension of both the PG and MG Discount Schemes is estimated to provide savings of S$7.9 million this year.
Savings from the Seniors Discount Scheme are also estimated to exceed S$2.5 million, bringing the total estimated savings for all seniors to S$10.4 million in 2020, said NTUC Enterprise.
Five mobile grocery vans under the initiative FairPrice on Wheels are now serving 10 locations, providing basic essential items at selected mature estates with a higher concentration of low-income seniors.
Seniors visiting these vans may use their PG, MG and Senior Citizen discounts.
NTUC Enterprise Group CEO Mr Seah Kian Peng said that it has been a “challenging year” for Singaporeans heavily impacted by COVID-19.
“In times like these, our resolve to serve Singaporeans has only deepened,” said Mr Seah.
“We have put in additional resources to ensure that daily essential products and services … remain accessible and affordable for all,” he said.
“Through this comprehensive support package, we reaffirm our commitment to moderate the cost of living for all Singaporeans.”
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article said that five additional vans will join the FairPrice on Wheels fleet, bringing the total to 10 vans. NTUC Enterprise has since corrected that information saying that the existing fleet of five vans is now covering a total of 10 locations after five more locations were added.