Photo of MAS from Reuters Edgar Su

In a lopsided report published by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the government tried to sugar coat the increasing cost of living by blaming “increasing wages”. According to the official biennial report released on Friday (Oct 26), the central bank warned that all prices including utility bills and food are rising for 2018 and 2019:

“Electricity and gas bills, petrol costs, and food prices are expected to go up for the rest of this year and into the next year…For domestic sources of inflation, a faster pace of wage growth in 2018 and 2019 — on the back of an improving labour market — could contribute to inflationary pressures.”

MAS omitted price increases from the government’s recent tax raises like the 30% water price increase and the 18.8% rise in electricity tariff, and simply blamed “external sources” like rising oil prices and “weather conditions in 2019”:

“This comes on the back of higher oil prices and concerns over weather conditions affecting the production of Singapore’s key food import sources. These external sources of inflation to push the inflation rate to 2 per cent for the rest of the year, and maintain through the first half of 2019.”

Government propaganda mouthpiece TodayOnline then engaged government-linked economists for supportive comments. Among them is Francis Tan from government bank UOB, who claimed that wages in Singapore is jumping so fast that companies are forced to raise their prices:

“If companies’ wage costs are moving up, naturally they want to pass them on through the final retail price. Real wages in Singapore, which excludes increases from inflation, have been positive every year since the global financial crisis in 2008.”

Despite having the government claiming record increases in wages, Singapore’s low income workers takes home about S$900 a month – lowest among developed countries. The corrupted Singapore ministers – who draw million dollar salaries – refused to implement a Minimum Wage, claiming that it is a tax on employers and contented that the low income workers in Singapore are better off than in other parts of the world.