International Business & Economy Budget 2017: Price hike for water affects the poor more than the...

Budget 2017: Price hike for water affects the poor more than the rich

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Water is a vital resource and a basic human right. Yet, the Government of Singapore sees it fit to use utilitarian or volume based pricing model for the provision of water.

Such a model affects both the rich and poor and some say, the poor are more adversely affected than the rich.

A 30% price hike will be a stretch for the poorer families while the rich has the means the ride the price hike.

If it was the intention of the government to elicit any kind if behavioural change in the consumption of water, we’ll probably see the poor conserve a lot more.

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One spokesperson from IPS said that the 30% price hike is to create awareness. It’s a poor choice of words even for a PAP apologist on the IPS payroll. What’s he smoking?

Call a spade a spade a price hike is not a water conservation campaign or an awareness programme.

In an article written by Leong Hze Hian, he said that the water price in Hong Kong is priced 14 times lower. Perhaps they have better technology but whatever the reasons are, it’s definitely merits a discussion in parliament.

The budget seems to benefit the middle class more than the underclass. The 20% tax relief capped at S$500 benefits the middle class for sure.

Perhaps a tax on manual car wash and a closer watch on how water is used is F&B outlets when dishes are washed is much needed.

With the advancement in smart metering technologies, it is possible to have different pricing structures for industrial versus residential users by districts, flat-types and household income.

A different pricing structure definitely adds complexity to the pricing regime but it will definitely have the intended effect of changes in consumption patterns.

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