THE social enterprise arm of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) on Monday said it will continue to keep prices unchanged for 100 daily essentials under its FairPrice house brand and extend discounts for the elderly, till Dec 31 this year.
These are part of NTUC Enterprise's latest S$50 million support package for this year - which also includes Covid-19 relief measures and new deals for NTUC Union members - meant to help Singaporeans manage the cost of living amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The S$50 million figure includes estimated savings to shoppers, and is more than double the value of its S$20 million in support last year.
DISCOUNTS VALID TILL END-2020
NTUC Enterprise said the FairPrice house brand range of products, which are priced at least 10 per cent cheaper compared to leading brands, have helped defray daily expenses for Singaporeans over the years.
To further extend support for households amid the Covid-19 pandemic, NTUC FairPrice will continue to freeze the prices of 100 house brand everyday essentials, which include groceries such as rice, oil, beverages and poultry, as well as batteries, toiletries, and household cleaners.
The price freeze was launched in March 2019 and was initially set to run until June 30, 2020, providing customers with savings of about S$17.8 million. With the six-month extension, shoppers are estimated to see an additional S$6.7 million in savings.
"This six-month extension helps cushion Singaporeans against potential price increases, regardless of changes in supply, socio-economic factors and external factors that could affect food prices, especially during the current volatile and uncertain climate," NTUC Enterprise said.
Separately, NTUC Enterprise and its group of social enterprises will extend the validity of various programmes to provide more cost savings for seniors.
At NTUC FairPrice, the Merdeka Generation (MG), Pioneer Generation (PG), and Senior Citizens will continue to enjoy their discounts from Monday to Wednesday for another six months until Dec 31, 2020. In 2019, PG and MG members saved over S$5.5 million, while seniors saved S$2.2 million through the Seniors Discount Scheme.
The extension of both the PG and MG Discount Schemes is estimated to provide savings of S$7.9 million in 2020, while savings from the Seniors Discount Scheme are estimated to exceed S$2.5 million, bringing the total estimated savings for seniors to S$10.4 million this year.
With this extension, PG and MG members can continue to enjoy discounts on courses, insurance, personal home care services and day centre services.
COVID-19 RELIEF MEASURES
NTUC's social enterprises have also introduced Covid-19 relief measures worth S$8.8 million to help mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the community, NTUC Enterprise noted.
One example is the setting aside of S$500,000 by NTUC First Campus to offset school fees for families that are most in need, and a 50 per cent offset of school fees for eligible preschool children during the "circuit breaker" in April and May 2020.
Fairprice on Wheels, an initiative launched in April this year to bring daily essentials closer to seniors and reduce their time outdoors, was also extended to five more locations in May and June 2020. It currently serves a total of 10 locations with its fleet of five vans (see amendment note).
DEALS FOR NTUC UNION MEMBERS
In addition, NTUC Enterprise has introduced new initiatives for NTUC Union members totalling S$11.9 million, it said.
These include discounted groceries, complimentary S$50,000 term life insurance coverage for the first year, limited to the first 50,000 sign-ups, as well as over 100 free online courses to encourage upskilling.
Amendment note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said that five additional vans will join the fleet of Fairprice on Wheels from July 2020. NTUC Enterprise has since corrected to say that the initiative was extended to five more locations in May and June to serve a total of 10 locations.
This article was first published in The Business Times. Permission required for reproduction.
For the latest updates on the coronavirus, visit here.