Singapore — Opposition Peoples Voice leader and lawyer Lim Tean has criticised the planned increase in fees and tariffs amid the financial hardship caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
On Friday (Oct 2), Mr Lim uploaded a post with the following caption, “Giving you a chicken wing before the GE and taking back the chicken farm after”. He attached a few examples of the “chicken farm being taken away”, which was a metaphor for the coming increase in fees and tariffs.
“Even as thousands of Singaporeans lose their jobs and face financial hardship in this pandemic, the People’s Action Party (PAP) government has not forgotten to raise fees and tariffs,” said Mr Lim.
He gave the examples of three Central Expressway (CTE) gantries seeing a rise in ERP charges, the electricity tariff for households rising by 9.3 per cent and MediShield Life premiums possibly increasing by up to 35 per cent for some groups.
In response to his post, members of the online community did not appear surprised by the developments.
Increase in fees and tariffs
As of Aug 31 this year, new Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) charges kicked in at the Southbound CTE auxiliary lane to Pan-Island Expressway (Changi)/Serangoon Road and the two gantries at Northbound CTE after PIE. The ERP charges for these three gantries increased by S$1 “to ease congestion during peak periods”, said the Land Transport Authority (LTA). ERP charges for the gantry along a southbound CTE auxiliary lane to PIE (Changi) and Serangoon Road were also re-introduced.
On Wed (Sept 30), the Singapore Power (SP) Group announced that the electricity tariff for households would increase by about 9.3 per cent for the last quarter of 2020. The tariff will rise from 19.6 cents to 21.43 cents per kWh. Before the Goods and Services Tax (GST) computation, the rise in tariffs would equate to an approximate increase of S$7.01 on the average monthly bill of families living in four-room flats, it said.
In addition, premiums for MediShield Life are to increase by up to 35 per cent in the next few years, according to a Ministry of Health (MOH) statement on Tuesday (Sept 29). This is the first significant review of Singapore’s national health insurance scheme since its launch in 2015. The said changes are expected to be implemented in early 2021.
Giving You A Chicken Wing Before The GE And Taking Back The Chicken Farm After!
Meanwhile, also on Friday (Oct 2) but with regard to a completely different matter, the police said in a statement that Mr Lim had been arrested in his office in connection with an allegation of criminal breach of trust by one of his clients.
The police said that he had failed to turn up for an interview in connection with investigations into the allegation. /TISG