betty July 14, 2022

SINGAPORE – One hopes it does not happen, but should there be another pandemic, Singapore is well prepared and ready to take it on.

About 64 per cent of Singaporeans feel this way, based on the city-state’s performance dealing with Covid-19, according to recent research.

The same study also found that cost of living – in particular, in areas of healthcare, utilities and food – ranks among the top worries of Singaporeans as the country moves forward from the Covid-19 pandemic.

When asked what the country’s focus should be for the future, Singaporeans were very pragmatic, opting to focus on immediate livelihood needs such as support to cope with the rise in goods and services tax (GST) over longer-term concerns such as the green transition, said the study.

These were among the key findings noted in a working paper on moving forward through the Covid-19 pandemic by the Institute of Policy Studies that was released on Thursday (July 14).

The study also asked Singaporeans about their behaviour in the new normal as the country moves towards endemic living, such as if they would wear their masks outdoors, and if they planned to travel for leisure in the upcoming months.

The study was based on online surveys that drew on about 2,000 respondents who were representative of Singapore’s gender and race demographics. About 500 were polled about once every fortnight from April 2020 to June 2022, with 51 polls used in the study.

Here are 10 key takeaways from the study:

1. Coping with rising cost of living

– More than four in 10 were rather or very worried about the cost of healthcare (45 per cent), cost of utilities (41 per cent) and cost of food (40 per cent) possibly rising this year.

– On the topic of the GST, which is set to increase by two percentage points by 2024 to 9 per cent, the proportion polled who were rather or very worried about the hike declined slightly from 54 per cent for those polled from March 18 to 25 this year to 47 per cent for those polled from June 24 to July 4.

– About six in 10 (59 per cent) said their families have adjusted spending habits in order to reduce expenses to cope with the rise in prices.