"From time to time, these surveys will come up, and people will give it a spin, but they are measuring something quite different from the cost of living for our residents.

"What is important for us is that Singaporeans, and particularly low- and middle-income Singaporeans, have incomes that grow faster than the cost of living. That is what is important and what we have fortunately been able to achieve.

"In the last five years alone, if you take our median households, their incomes have gone up faster than the cost of living as measured by the CPI index. It has gone up by about 10% in real terms. There is a similar rate of growth for the low-income household, about 10% in real terms.

"Indeed, for the low-income households, if you exclude from the CPI index the imputed rentals for those who own their homes (they do not actually have to pay rentals), then the increase in real incomes of the 20th percentile household was 19% over the last five years.

"There is thus significant improvement, and we keep our eyes focused on that. Keep our eyes focused on how the average Singaporean and the low-income Singaporean is doing with regard to their incomes, relative to the cost of living."

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