Thursday, May 22, 2008

High cost of living? Buy cheaper products, says minister

Article from: Nov 2007

Recent price hikes have prompted several members of Parliament to voice their concern about increasing cost of living, especially with respect to basic necessities.

In the third quarter of 2007, the consumer price index (CPI) rose by 2.7% year-on-year, compared to 1.0% in the second quarter and 0.5% in the first quarter. Inflation is projected to hit a record 5% by 2008.

Yesterday in Parliament, Mr Lim Hng Kiang, Minister of Trade and Industry admitted that these were due to a ‘one off effect of GST hikes’ and mainly higher food prices.

In his response to MPs questions today, he also had this advice for families hit by higher prices: "Whether there is an increase in the cost of living for a particular household depends on that household’s spending patterns. Switching to cheaper products can reduce the cost of living despite a rise in the CPI."

What are the limitations of the Minister's advice? Suggest and evaluate other measures that could be more effective.

e.g. did you know we have a Price Control Act?

you may also want to download: Rising Prices - How Singaporeans Can Cope: A good pictorial summary of the causes of the recent inflation and what the government has been doing to help Singaporeans cope.


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