SINGAPORE: One day after the Goods and Services Tax increased from eight to nine per cent, opposition politician and lawyer Lim Tean highlighted prices rising in hawker stalls. Posting a photo of a notice of higher prices, he asked, “Are You Seeing Similar Signs?”
The photo had come from Mr Patrick Heng, who had left a comment when Mr Lim shared a Facebook post from Mr Lee Hsien Yang, the brother of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, about the GST increase.
“The fried carrot stall I used to patronize has increased its price from $3.00 to $3.50. I took a quick glance at all the stalls where the fried carrot cake stall is located that 50% or more stalls have put up the same notice. I am quite sure those stalls haven’t put up similar notice could be pressurized and will do so soon?!
Don’t tell us this is a free market that you cannot control? It seems this government is causing people in business their nerves and following the government to increase prices?!” wrote Mr Heng.
To this, Mr Lim, who heads the People’s Voice party, added, “Wow! An increase from $3 to $3.50 is not a 1% increase. It is a 16-17% increase!”
On Friday, another Facebook user, Mr Lawrence Chong, shared a number of photos from hawker stalls with notices informing the public of price increases.
In one photo, the hawker informed diners that the prices of bee hoon, mee, kway teow, and vegetarian duck would increase by S$.50.
In another, it was indicated that food item prices would increase starting from Jan 1.
Yet another notice gave the reason for the price increases: the “rising costs of ingredients.”
All the stalls also thanked patrons for understanding the situation.
A number of commenters on Mr Lim’s post said they also saw similar notices at hawker stalls, with some noting with dismay that the price increases were more than one per cent.
“I have not seen a single stall demanding 1% GST increase (in jo teo’s language), the increase at hawker centres, coffeeshops and foodcourt typically range from $0.20 to $1.00, how is that 1%?,” wrote one. Some said that they had been noticing steep price increases even before the GST went up from eight to 9 per cent on Jan 1 (Monday). /TISG