Assoc Prof Jamus Jerome Lim (Sengkang): Thank you, Deputy Speaker. And thank you to the Minister of State. I have a clarification question. In his speech, the Minister of State mentioned that he expects the rate of inflation to moderate by the end of the year, the headline inflation to go from 4.5% to 5.5%, to something on the lower end of that range. I wonder whether he would be willing to share either MTI or MAS’ forecast for what it would be not just this year but into 2023. And related to that, whether there will be plans for addressing cost of living challenges beyond the $1.5 billion package announced a few weeks ago, were inflation to exceed what would be expected.
I ask this in part because MAS has itself suggested that as much as a third of inflation is actually domestic in origin and no longer just international.
Mr Alvin Tan: I thank the Member for this supplementary question. Inflationary pressures, as we all know, are subject to external environment. Currently, the external cost pressures – I mentioned the Russia-Ukraine conflict as well as supply chain global disruptions – will impact projections. But at this point, MAS and MTI expect inflation to moderate towards the end of the year, baring any significant shocks.
With regard to the support for businesses as well as households in addition to the $1.5 billion package that we announced, we have also previously announced over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic support for businesses, support for households, and in the medium to longer term, to help businesses and workers to upskill, to help businesses to prepare for the global economy – the changes, the swifts to supply chain, the shifts towards the digital economy, as well as the shifts towards the sustainable economy.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Mr Lawrence Wong will go into some of these details later in his reply to the Parliamentary Questions, talking about the many different physical measures that we have out in place to support businesses, as well as Singaporeans.
Ministry of Trade and Industry
4 July 2022