Dr Tan Wu Meng: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (a) whether the Government has studied how the (i) quantum and (ii) proportion of household cost of living attributable to energy consumption, whether directly or indirectly, is projected to change in the short-term and long-term, in light of international geopolitical developments and the ongoing climate crisis; and (b) if so, whether the Ministry can share the current assessment, broken down by decile of household income.
Written Answer by Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong
1. Based on data from the Household Expenditure Survey 2017/2018, resident households spent an average of $220 on electricity, gas and petrol each month, amounting to about 4.5% of their total monthly expenditure.
2. Over the past year, energy commodity prices have increased significantly due to the Russia-Ukraine war, tight supply conditions, as well as strong demand. Energy prices are expected to remain elevated and volatile, particularly as countries in the Northern Hemisphere head into the winter months. As Singapore imports most of our energy supply, our domestic energy prices will be affected by high and volatile global energy prices.
3. The higher prices and possibly lower consumption levels may affect the energy-related expenditure of households. We will have a clearer picture at the next Household Expenditure Survey, which is scheduled to be launched by the end of 2022.
4. The Government will continue to monitor prices and help Singaporeans cope with rising energy costs. For instance, the support measures introduced in Budget 2022 will help eligible households with double the quantum of their quarterly GST Voucher (GSTV) U-Save vouchers in FY2022 to defray the costs of higher electricity bills. As part of the $1.5 billion support package announced in June 2022, all Singaporean households will receive an additional $100 of Household Utilities Credit by September 2022.
5. In addition, the Government has rolled out support measures for self-employed persons whose livelihoods depend on their vehicles, such as a one-off relief of $150 this month to eligible taxi main hirers and private hire car drivers.