SINGAPORE: The Estimates Committee has issued a report on its efforts examining the government’s measures to control inflation and rising living and business costs.
It has also reviewed the use of budget initiatives and the government’s efforts to communicate its measures to Singaporeans.
This comes ahead of a Parliament sitting on Monday.
The Estimates Committee is set up by Parliament to consider the government’s budget and to report on any savings that may be made.
On schemes aimed at helping SMEs, in particular, the Productivity and Innovation Credit Scheme (PIC), the committee noted that at least a quarter of companies with a turnover of S$10million had claimed the PIC.
But it urged the Ministry of Finance to continue their efforts to reach out to more companies.
The committee also looked at the government’s measures to address business and manpower costs. It raised concerns about whether the government’s aim to increase real wage by 30 per cent over the next 10 years was sustainable.
In reply, MOF said increasing real wages by 30 per cent was a long—term target.
Still, the committee urged the government to monitor and take measures to mitigate the short—term effects of its policies on SMEs, as most of these local businesses hire Singaporeans.
Meanwhile, the committee had previously in 2011 recommended that the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Department of Statistics (DOS) compile consumer price index (CPI) statistics based on households in the middle 60 per cent income group, as well as compile data on CPI for young couples with at least one child below six years old.
This is to better understand the impact of the cost of living on different groups so that more targeted assistance measures could be introduced.
The committee said it is encouraged by MTI and DOS’ efforts to refine the data so far.
The eight—member committee is headed by Seah Kian Peng, MP for Marine Parade GRC.
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