For many Singaporeans, news that they live in the world's most expensive city is hardly a surprise. And while the cost of living has risen, just how pricey Singapore is remains the subject of much debate.
In his wrap-up speech on the budget debate Wednesday, Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said cost of living reports are aimed at comparing the living costs for expatriates and do not reflect those of local residents.
That's significant in the Southeast Asian city state, where non-residents make up more than a quarter of the 5.3 million population.
Tharman was referring to surveys such as this week's bi-annual report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) that showed Singapore has now topped Tokyo as the world's most expensive city.
(Read more: Singapore now world's most expensive city)