International Business & Economy Opposition politician Lim Tean criticises increase in electricity tariffs

Opposition politician Lim Tean criticises increase in electricity tariffs

It is immoral for SP (a Temasek-owned entity) to be profiteering to this extent, he says

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The chief of the People’s Voice political party, Mr Lim Tean, has criticised the recent increase in electricity tariffs by 3.5% despite natural gas prices collapsing.

The title of his social media post on Wednesday (Jan 1) was: “This Is What Happens When You Privatise Public Services!”

Sharing a Forum letter to straitstimes.com titled, “Puzzled by electricity tariff hike as natural gas price has dropped”, Mr Lim wrote that even the common man is unable to understand why electricity tariffs have been going up despite natural gas prices decreasing.

He said: “It is immoral for SP (a Temasek-owned entity) to be profiteering to this extent when many Singaporeans are struggling to make ends meet! This is a company that has been averaging profits of around $1 billion for the past 14 years! Not to forget, there is 48% overcapacity in our electric supply!”

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The Forum letter, from Mr Alan Chiu Chen Hong, urged the SP Group to help consumers understand the reason for the increase in electricity tariff when “the natural gas price has been very weak, and has dropped significantly in the past year”.

Mr Chiu wrote that, “last year, the natural gas price was about 16 to 20 per cent lower than in end-2014”.

The SP Group announced at the end of last year that electricity tariffs were set to rise in the first quarter of 2020. This made them the highest in five years. It cited higher energy costs compared with the previous quarter as the reason for the increase.

From Jan 1 to March 31, electricity tariffs (before 7% GST) will increase by an average of 3.5% or 0.81 cent per kWh, which for households would mean a rise from 23.43 cents per kWh to 24.24 cents per kWh.

Mr Lim concluded his post by saying that “Singaporeans have every right to demand explanations from the SP group, Temasek, EMA and Mr ‘New Taxes’ Heng!” /TISG

Read related: Electricity tariffs to reach the highest in 5 years with Jan-March increase

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