Inflation and rising cost of living not the only challenges facing Singapore: Lawrence Wong, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Inflation and rising cost of living not the only challenges facing Singapore: Lawrence Wong

Inflation is not the only challenge that Singapore is currently facing and the country needs to press on with economic reform in response to structural changes in the wider world, said Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong.

This includes climate change and increased geopolitical contestation, which could spell a more divided world.

"We have to fundamentally restructure and transform ourselves for this new world - a world which is likely to be more uncertain, volatile, and even more dangerous than before," Mr Wong told reporters at a press conference on Tuesday (June 21).

This is why the country must accelerate economic reforms, he said.

"I know many Singaporeans are concerned about the immediate issues of rising prices and the cost of living," he added.

"But please understand that the challenges before us are not just about inflation."

Mr Wong, who is also Finance Minister, was announcing a $1.5 billion support package to provide targeted relief to Singaporeans, especially lower-income groups and vulnerable workers who are disproportionately affected by inflation.

The measures include utilities rebates, as well as relief for self-employed persons who rely on their vehicles for their livelihoods, and those impacted by Malaysia's export ban on live chickens.

Singapore will not need to further draw on its reserves for this package, he said.

The minister stressed that Singapore should move forward in a fiscally responsible, sustainable manner.

"This will ensure that we are in a strong economic and fiscal position to deal with any future challenges ahead, and also to seize the opportunities in this new environment," he said.