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Lawrence Wong on support to manage inflation and GST hike

31:26 Min

The Government is prepared to do more and provide targeted help for lower-income groups if the situation worsens significantly, as well as households that will be particularly affected by an impending GST hike. Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong gave this assurance in reply to Parliamentary questions on Monday (Jul 4). He said the Government will continue to provide support while upholding prudence and responsibility in fiscal management. He said Singapore must brace for a "bumpy road" ahead in the face of multiple crises globally. Its economy is operating at "slightly above potential", he said. Under such circumstances, it has to consider carefully the size of any additional support measures by the Government, because excessive fiscal injection at this juncture can exacerbate inflationary pressures and easily become counter-productive. He said the Government's support packages are designed to provide more targeted relief for the lower-income and vulnerable groups who are disproportionately impacted by the effects of higher prices. They also provide comprehensive support for households and businesses throughout the year. Mr Wong said Singapore must adjust to major structural changes in a "more bifurcated, unpredictable and dangerous world". It must transform for this new environment. In particular, it must decarbonise the economy, manage with fewer manpower resources and strive for more inclusive growth. When designed well, the short-term relief from the Government can also help to manage these structural issues, he said. 

The Government is prepared to do more and provide targeted help for lower-income groups if the situation worsens significantly, as well as households that will be particularly affected by an impending GST hike. Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong gave this assurance in reply to Parliamentary questions on Monday (Jul 4). He said the Government will continue to provide support while upholding prudence and responsibility in fiscal management. He said Singapore must brace for a "bumpy road" ahead in the face of multiple crises globally. Its economy is operating at "slightly above potential", he said. Under such circumstances, it has to consider carefully the size of any additional support measures by the Government, because excessive fiscal injection at this juncture can exacerbate inflationary pressures and easily become counter-productive. He said the Government's support packages are designed to provide more targeted relief for the lower-income and vulnerable groups who are disproportionately impacted by the effects of higher prices. They also provide comprehensive support for households and businesses throughout the year. Mr Wong said Singapore must adjust to major structural changes in a "more bifurcated, unpredictable and dangerous world". It must transform for this new environment. In particular, it must decarbonise the economy, manage with fewer manpower resources and strive for more inclusive growth. When designed well, the short-term relief from the Government can also help to manage these structural issues, he said. 

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