SINGAPORE: A local Reddit user posted the prices from a local eatery showing the “real world effect” of the Goods & Services Tax hike. While the GST went up by one per cent from Jan 1, 2024, on the ground, prices have increased at much higher rates.

u/khaizersozay posted the menu of Ponggol Nasi Lemak from 2022 when GST was at seven per cent, and one from 2023 when it was at eight per cent, as well as the one from this year at 9 per cent.

Reddit screengrab/u/khaizersozay

 

Reddit screengrab/u/khaizersozay

 

Reddit screengrab/u/khaizersozay

“Someone do the math,” the post author wrote.

The menus show that prices have definitely gone up, especially from last year to this. For example, French Bean, which used to be S$1.20 is now S$1.50, a 25 per cent increase. An egg, which was S$1.00 is now S$1.20, a 20 per cent markup.

u/khaizersozay’s post has gotten a lot of attention, with many commenters weighing in, as some have noticed this type of price increases in a multiple places.

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“The 7-11 muffin, from $2 to $2.20. Nasi lemak near home $3.5 to 3.8. 1% vs 10% up. Zero effort 9% profit,” wrote one.

Others worried that salary increases are not coming at the same pace as price increases. “How many of us get 10% salary increase? Maybe only the ministers,” one opined.

“Is this the ripple impact of a GST increase, or is it greedflation? Cos there’s a whole lot of the latter going on in all kinds of industries,” another chimed in.

Some, however, wrote that other factors are also in play, such as higher rental, fuel, and insurance prices, as well as more expensive ingredients.

“I argue that price increase by 1-2% was an unrealistic expectation, especially for end-users,” wrote another, adding, “It’s ‘impossible’ to raise price by just 1-2%, e.g. for a bag of fishballs it’s increased in price by about 10-20c. Noodles also increase price, ketchup increase price, soy sauce increase price. So your bowl of fishball noodles is the cumulative product of every price increase further up the supply chain.”

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In a Facebook post on Tuesday (Jan 9), Workers’ Party MP Jamus Lim touched on the topic as well, writing:

“Many of those we spoke to mentioned hikes that went far beyond the one percent GST increase (jumps seem to range in the tens of cents, rather than single digits, as might be implied by a 1 percent rise), as merchants took the opportunity to revise prices more generally, across the board.”

However, some of the points Assoc Prof Lim raised in his post were rebutted by Senior Minister of State for Finance Chee Hong Tat on Wednesday (Jan 10) in a Facebook post of his own.

Mr Chee wrote that the WP MP “should provide details of these merchants to the (Committee Against Profiteering) CAP, so that it can investigate and take action against any errant businesses seeking to profiteer from the GST increase.” /TISG

Read also: ‘Are You Seeing Similar Signs?’ — Lim Tean draws attention to higher prices due to GST hike

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