PM Lee asks Lawrence Wong if Assurance Package could be enhanced in view of 2024 GST hike

PM Lee said Singaporeans asked if everyone could get "a little more help" from the "God of Wealth".

Kerr Puay Hian | August 20, 2023, 07:12 PM


WhatsappPrime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in his 2023 National Day Rally Speech that he had asked Finance Minister Lawrence Wong to study "carefully" if the Assurance Package can be enhanced further.

Even though he is confident that the Assurance Package will effectively buffer the impact of GST increase to 9 per cent next year, PM Lee said that Singaporeans asked him if everyone could get "a little more help" from "God of Wealth".

"You asked me, so I asked Finance Minister Lawrence Wong. He said he will study it carefully.

Let's wait — and of course, we hope for good news."

Assurance package was enhanced in 2023

Wong announced enhancements during his 2023 Budget Statement in February, including increasing cash and CDC voucher payouts, Medisave top-ups, utility bills U-Save rebates throughout the year, and top-ups for children's educational accounts such as Edusave.

The enhancements brought the total Assurance Package cash payment received by adult Singaporeans to between S$700 and S$2,250 over five years.

PM Lee said the government kept their promise to "take care of Singaporeans".

Government cannot give out subsidies infinitely: PM Lee

However, he said Singaporeans must understand the government cannot give out subsidies infinitely.

PM Lee believes the long-term solution is to make Singaporeans more productive, transform Singapore's businesses, and grow Singapore's economy, so that real incomes can rise and Singaporeans can all be better off.

He explained that the government has been stabilising prices through various policies.

Encourages Singaporeans to "shop wisely"

PM Lee raised the example of NTUC Fairprice, saying it plays a leading role in maintaining costs at a reasonable level as the largest local supermarket chain.

He pointed out that other supermarkets "have no choice" but to emulate Fairprice by offering their own house brands and promotions.

PM Lee also highlighted that many Singaporeans know how to look for "money-saving hacks" and "buy value-for-money necessities to keep their wallets full".

He said some are "experts" at using mobile applications or joining chat groups to decipher where the best "lobangs" are.

"So long as we shop wisely, we can still get our hands on cheaper items."

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Top image via PMO