SINGAPORE - Prices of 100 daily essential items sold under the NTUC FairPrice housebrand will be frozen until the end of the year, as part of a support package to help Singaporeans manage the cost of living during the coronavirus pandemic.
These items include groceries such as rice, oil, beverages and poultry, as well as batteries, toiletries and household cleaners, said NTUC Enterprise on Monday (June 22).
On top of the price freeze, the $50 million support package also includes extensions of seniors' discounts until Dec 31 this year.
"This six-month extension helps cushion Singaporeans against potential price increases, regardless of changes in supply, socioeconomic factors and external factors that could affect food prices, especially during the current volatile and uncertain climate," NTUC Enterprise said in a statement.
"This price freeze of essentials will also act as a benchmark for prices in general of everyday essentials, ensuring they remain affordable."
This initiative was launched in March last year and would have run until June 30 this year, providing customers with savings of approximately $17.8 million.
The six-month extension is estimated to provide an additional $6.7 million in savings to shoppers.
Last year, the cost of 38 of the 100 housebrand items saw increases of up to 10 per cent, which means that FairPrice has absorbed over $350,000 as a result of this initiative.
Discounts for those in the Merdeka Generation, Pioneer Generation and senior citizens will also be extended until the end of the year.
Currently these groups enjoy discounts from Monday to Wednesday.
Last year, Pioneer and Merdeka Generation members saved over $5.5 million, while seniors saved $2.2 million through the senior discount scheme.
NTUC Enterprise noted that the extension of both the Pioneer and Merdeka Generation discount schemes is estimated to provide savings of $7.9 million this year.
Savings from the seniors discount scheme are estimated to exceed $2.5 million, bringing the total estimated savings for seniors to $10.4 million this year.
Mr Seah Kian Peng, NTUC Enterprise group chief executive, said: "2020 has been a challenging year with the heavy impact brought about by Covid-19 on the daily lives of Singaporeans. In times like these, our resolve to serve Singaporeans has only deepened.
"We have put in additional resources to ensure that daily essential products and services, including groceries, childcare and eldercare, remain accessible and affordable for all.
"Furthermore, our insurance, learning and skills upgrading services have adapted swiftly to address the needs of the community during this period.
"Through this comprehensive support package, we reaffirm our commitment to moderate the cost of living for all Singaporeans."
There is also a slew of new initiatives for NTUC union members, which provide support including specially priced groceries, complimentary $50,000 LUV term life coverage for the first year, dental care kits and more than 100 complimentary online courses to encourage upskilling.
In line with the recent phase two opening, a reduced price breakfast set at $1 for union members and $1.50 for the public will be available from July 3 to Aug 31 at all NTUC Foodfare and Kopitiam foodcourts and coffee shops from 7am to 11am daily.
The set, which includes a cup of hot coffee or tea, toast and two soft boiled eggs, is usually priced at $1.80 for union members and $2.20 for the public.
This discount is also estimated to bring about savings of $1 million.
NTUC Enterprise added that its organisations have also introduced coronavirus relief measures worth $8.8 million to help mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the community.
These include mobile grocery vans to bring daily essentials to seniors at selected mature estates with low-income older people.