By LM — Imagine being Victim-Blamed for something you cannot control. This is exactly what this Straits Times reporter tried to do.
Inflation in Singapore is NOT because of the spending habits of Singaporeans. To understand this, we must dive deep into the reasons behind inflation in Singapore and who is the culprit behind it.
What caused the inflation?
Simply put, Inflation is caused by excess demand. This can either be due to supply shortages or rising demand. One of the immediate outcomes of inflation is a reduction in Purchasing Power of individuals. This leads to a vicious cycle of higher wages and higher prices. This is what is happening in Singapore.
Due to Global Inflation, Supply-Chain distortions through the Russia-Ukraine War, and an imbalance between Singaporean Imports and Exports, the pace of economic growth is declining and hence, the inflation.
Are Singaporeans Spending Lavishly?
As for the increased spending pointed out by the reporter, the mentioned facts are partially true. The consumption rates of Singaporeans are increasing. But that upsurge is due to “increased prices” of the previously cheap goods and not “lavish spending”.
The average amount paid for a taxi ride surged by 114%. The same ride which was booked previously at $20 is being booked today at $22.80. Similarly, utilities increased by 22%, fuel by 15%, and dining by 10%.
In this entire scenario, the Singaporean public is the VICTIM, not the PERPETRATOR.
Who is Responsible then?
The uncontrolled inflation in Singapore is entirely due to government inefficiency and poor planning. The inability of the government to facilitate its citizens, increase their Purchasing Power, and come up with effective economic planning, is the actual cause. About 55% of respondents in the mid-May survey revealed the government was handling everyday price rises “badly.”
Singapore’s inflation rate in October is recorded at 7.0%, an all-time high rate. About 70% of Singaporeans today are concerned about higher household expenses. Their main concern is having sufficient savings, planning ahead for retirement, and being able to afford essential items for themselves and their families.
Therefore, we should not play the blame game and look for the “Responsible”. Instead, all our energies should be focused instead on how to accommodate people and make their life easier.