(Bloomberg) -- Singapore announced a S$1.1 billion ($800 million) package to shield its citizens from the pain of price increases, even as inflation has been steadily slowing in Southeast Asia’s only developed economy.
The package, which includes assistance to cushion the impact of higher utility bills and an upcoming increase in carbon tax, will provide more support for lower- and middle-income families, according to an official statement, citing Finance Minister Lawrence Wong on Thursday.
“The government is committed to supporting Singaporeans through these uncertain times,” Wong, who is also the city-state’s deputy prime minister, said. The government will not be dipping into past reserves to fund the package, according to the Straits Times newspaper earlier.
While price gains have generally eased, with the core inflation gauge tracked by the country’s central bank dropping to the lowest level in 15 months, rising costs such as electricity tariffs and a proposed increase in public transport fares and water prices are set to pinch consumers.
“Households are still dealing with the impact of price increases in various areas,” Wong said in the statement.
The latest package includes a S$0.8 billion enhancement to the so-called Assurance Package, bringing the total to over S$10 billion since it was first announced. Singapore has been providing assistance through budget and off-cycle measures.
Earlier this year, the Energy Market Authority had capped wholesale power prices from July 1 after they jumped as much as 3,000% this year despite sharp drops in the cost of liquefied natural gas, the nation’s main fuel. Still, consumers are somewhat protected, as they are charged at a fixed quarterly rate.
--With assistance from Kevin Varley.
(Updates with details throughout.)
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