The Housing & Development Board (HDB) and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) will raise public car park charges for short-term and season parking schemes, with effect from 1 December 2016.
HDB and URA said the increases were necessary because the last island-wide revision of car parking charges by HDB and URA was done 14 years ago in 2002, and over this period, the costs of building, operating and managing car parks have increased due to general inflation, as well as construction, manpower and other related maintenance costs. “Car park charges have not kept pace with these cost increases. Therefore revisions are needed to ensure proper cost recovery,” it said.
With the increases, car owners are expected to pay thousands more just in season parking charges during the 10-year validity of their COEs.
Private carpark operators have now said that they will raise their parking charges as well. Most of such operators have pegged their parking rates to public carpark rates, and are all set to raise them in tandem with the coming increases in public carparks in December 2016.
One industry source who spoke to The Straits Times said private operators were waiting to see if there was an adverse public reaction towards the hike, and “if the Housing Board goes ahead with the increase, we will just follow the leader.”
One Facebook user who was upset with the pending increases of carparking charges dug out the Ministry of National Development’s (MND) Annual Reports and asked the Ministry why they were doing so when the net car parking profits (income less expenses) of the HDB and URA was $575.7 million for FY14/15.
MND replied to the user and said:
Netizens who read the user’s comment elsewhere, have complained that the user’s comment is not readily viewable on MND’s Facebook and wonder if the Ministry had deleted his post. Netizens were also confused about what MND were trying to say.
Veteran journalist Bertha Henson commenting about the pending carpark increases in her Facebook said: “If the GE is going to be held anytime soon, the PAP is gonna lose. Can’t believe transport experts who say the rise is symbolic. It might be so for short term parking but season parking in HDB area is $65 to $80 for surface and $90 to $110. Thought it was going to be 10 per cent (which is more or less the case for short term) but 25 per cent or more for season?”
The Singapore Democratic Party has also hit out at the PAP and said that the pending carpark increase is unconscionable. The opposition political party said, “it is clear that the PAP’s latest transport fee hikes are aimed at increasing revenue collection. This comes at a time when retrenchments are gathering pace, the creation of jobs is at at all-time low, and wages are shrinking.”