I read with interest about The Independent Singapore’s report ”GST increase is not really 1%, Happy Meal increased 5%” (Jan 8) and pondered its implications and far-reaching hidden impacts.
Undeniably, the recent Goods and Services Tax (GST) hike has affected everyone who lives and works in this hustle and bustle of cosmopolitan Singapore. It is especially hitting the burden on low and middle-income groups. The ripple effect and stratum of impact are silently and relentlessly aggravating the cost of living of low-income households.
Whatever subsidies are given by the Government will only tide over these low-income families for a twinkling period in their long and tortuous course of struggles. We should render any form of assistance as and when needed.
On 23 Dec 2022, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) announced that Singapore’s GDP growth is projected to come in at “around 3.5 per cent” in 2022 and “0.5 to 2.5 per cent” in 2023.
While the GDP growth slows down, it clearly shows economic uncertainty. And it will have unforeseen and negative effects cascaded downwards to many spectrums.
For example, 1,270 layoffs were reported from tech firms in Singapore from July to November 2022. This situation might get worse in 2023, as there are still uncertain factors looming in the geopolitical environment or climate, demand and supply market.
Hence, any shrewd leader from the ruling party would wait and seize an appropriate time to hold the general election, which integrates all the favourable factors such as better results of annual GDP growth, big investment harvest, rising or stability in employment rate, housing issues being softened, least domestic and social issues, etc.
In due course, Singapore is not an exception.
Teo Kueh Liang
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of The Independent Singapore.
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