GST Hike: Why Singaporeans can still have a say


By Augustine Low

The delay in the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is one that is well thought out and calibrated by the government. But Singaporeans do not have to take it lying down – there is recourse to call the shots.

By announcing that GST will go up to 9% sometime between 2021 and 2025, the PAP leaves itself some wiggle room. Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat also said that it would probably happen sooner rather than later during the timeframe, so we should take him at his word for it.

What are the implications?

For Singaporeans, it means that the GST hike will only take place after the next general election, which will most likely be held in 2019 or 2020.

Now, supposing the Opposition were to make the impending GST hike a key election issue, and the election results do not go the way of the PAP, would it still go ahead and implement the GST hike in 2021?

It would be politically treacherous. Chances are the GST hike would be deferred to later or even postponed indefinitely.

But if the reverse were to happen, and the PAP romps home handsomely in the next GE, just like in GE 2015, then there would be 100% certainty that the GST hike will take place right on the money in 2021. It would be seen as mandate sought and mandate given.

The PAP must have deliberated and worked out all the implications before it came up with the delayed GST plan. For sure, there would be plenty of sweeteners between now and the next GE to win over hearts and minds.

We have often heard of delayed gratification but delayed pain is seldom heard of. In this case, the PAP is promising delayed pain, and it is pain that Singaporeans can still avoid, if they play it right.

The PAP has showed its hand. Now it is up to Singaporeans to decide what card they want to play.


  1. Though I do NOT like any increase GST
    But if need to increase
    Just increase 1% out of 2% as mentioned
    9.6 billions from surplus should be used to cushion 1% instead of giving out
    1% GST , government will have additional revenue of 1.6 billions every year
    1.6 billions X 5 years = 9 billions

  2. When it is easy to create money out of other people’s pocket, and spending them without feeling any pain whatsoever since it does not hurt the pocket of the ministers personally, there will be little empathy when they implement heavier tax to the people.

  3. I see now a chance to speak up on GST. The cost of living is probably the highest in Asia if not the close to the top. I cannot think where in Asia that basic necessities costing more. What more an addition of 2 % and for the seller they will top it up even higher. Beside the fact the government pushing with mega projects which is good for Singapore future, why cannot we as Singaporeans have a more pleasant cost of living. My last trip to New York and dining out was much more decent that eating at some restaurants of the same at Marina Bay. Our provision / subsidy for health care is probably the lowest side of spectrum for a first world country. Why not remove GST for payment.Why not allow seniors to get rebate in GST in their expenditures! Yes if the government wants to impose GST why not allow for selective factors to have a waive of GST.
    I hope they take time to see how the middle income Singaporeans live by day by day.
    If they do not the polls can see a turning point for the party in power. They may not lose the govetnment but will lose more seats in parliament.
    I can feel in my lifetime i see another stronger party emerges if the what is happening between the government looking to whom they are serving. The millennial have no love lost to go the ballot box

  4. The need to question the government ever demanding attitude for citizens to keep paying has somehow not getting into sinkies head. Every government needs money, but over exploiting the pliant attitude is dangerous. PAP have every reason to believe that it is always right. When the country fails, sadly those who disagree have to suffer together.

  5. Should ask all PUBLIC SECTOR CIVIL Servants:
    1) How many projects are being outsource. How many projects being OUTSOURCE are really than DIFFICULT TO do. How many INDIAN are in management position that spearheads such OUTSOURCING exercise?
    Are there intangible BENEFIT for them?
    2) Without outsourcing, how can we groom our LOCAL talents so that they have better future?
    3) Without outsourcing, how much can be safe so that GST will not B increased.!