FairPrice Group to absorb GST hike for 500 essential items in first six months of 2024, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

FairPrice Group to absorb GST hike for 500 essential items in first six months of 2024

Supermarket chain FairPrice will absorb the upcoming 1 percentage point increase in GST for some daily essentials for the first half of 2024, in what the company said was an effort to cushion the tax hike’s impact for consumers.

The scheme, which will offset the tax hike on 500 essential items, was announced by FairPrice Group (FPG) on Nov 27 as part of a move to “assist Singaporeans during these times of stubborn inflation resulting in an unprecedented rise in the cost of living”.

On Jan 1, 2024, the goods and services tax rate will go up from 8 per cent to 9 per cent, the second of a two-stage rate hike which started on Jan 1, 2023.

The items covered under the scheme are products that the supermarket’s customers purchase frequently, said FPG.

They comprise national brands and house brand items, such as fresh fruits, vegetables and meat, staples, dairy, paper products, detergents and household cleaners.

This initiative will apply across all types of FairPrice supermarkets and stores, including FairPrice supermarkets, FairPrice Shop stores, FairPrice Finest outlets, FairPrice Xtra hypermarkets and FairPrice Online.

FPG, which consists of FairPrice, Kopitiam, NTUC Foodfare and NTUC Link, said it would also extend its discount schemes for members of the Pioneer Generation (PG), Merdeka Generation (MG) and Community Health Assist Scheme (Chas) Blue cardholders to Dec 31, 2024.

To be able to benefit from these discount schemes, eligible customers will need to present their membership cards (PG, MG or Chas Blue card) at cashiers upon checking out their purchases.

At self-checkout counters, customers must select the relevant PG, MG or Chas Blue card discount option. These discounts are valid for up to $200 per transaction per day.

FPG’s group chief executive Vipul Chawla said the company was committed to “alleviate the rising cost of daily essentials, especially for the more vulnerable among us”.

FPG said in its statement that it has given out more than $780 million in the form of discounts, rebates and donations since 2019.

The group pointed out that this sum amounted to more than $200 million in 2022, an amount that it expects to equal in 2023.

FPG had previously provided discounts when the 3 per cent GST was introduced in 1994, and when it was increased from 5 per cent to 7 per cent in 2007. It also did so for six months on certain essential items when the GST was hiked from 7 per cent to 8 per cent in 2023.

FairPrice Group Retail Business discount schemes. GRAPHIC: FAIRPRICE GROUP