SINGAPORE: Grocery chain Giant announced that it will absorb the one per cent increase to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on 700 essential items for the first six months of next year.

GST will go up from eight to nine per cent beginning from Jan 1, 2024, in the same way that it rose from seven to eight per cent at the beginning of this year. The government announced that the increase would go toward public spending, which includes healthcare, given the needs of an ageing society.

Giant, along with other retailers such FairPrice and IKEA, will absorb the hike so price increases will not be passed on to its customers. Giant did the same this year when the first tranche of the hike was implemented.

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For this year, DFI Retail Group, the chain’s parent company, said on Tuesday (Dec 26) that it chose the 700 essential products to absorb the GST hike according to customer feedback and data.

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The following products made the list of essentials: These products range from categories such as fresh produce, grocery, personal care, and household items: Meadows Milk 1L, Meadows Bathroom Tissue, Meadows Laundry Liquid, Meadows Assorted Biscuits, Meadows Canned Tuna, Meadows Mayonnaise, Meadows Granulated Sugar, Meadows Shredded Mozzarella; Leafy Vegetables 220g, Carrot China, Sweet Corn Malaysia, Royal Gala Apples; and Yu Pin King Raw Peanuts.

“As one of Singapore’s leading value retailers, our top priority is to ensure that essential products remain affordable,” said Mr Yoep Man, DFI Retail Group’s managing director for food in Singapore.

Additionally, for seniors, the grocery chain will continue its four per cent storewide discount on Thursdays for all of 2024 and its Lower Prices That Last campaign, whose goal is “providing Singaporeans with essential groceries products that are fresh, high quality and affordable”.

Similarly, the FairPrice Group (FPG) said on Nov 27 that it will offer a one per cent discount on 500 essential items for the first six months of next year to offset the GST hike. These essential items include fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, staples, dairy, paper products, detergents, and household cleaners—items deemed needed most and bought most frequently.

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And on Dec 21, IKEA Singapore said it would also absorb the one per cent GST hike to keep the cost of its items affordable for Singaporeans. The furnishing retailer did the same when the GST rose to 8 per cent at the beginning of the year. /TISG

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