SINGAPORE: A resident of Workers’ Party MP Leon Perera (Aljunied GRC) shared concerns about increasing costs of living in the coming year when the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is set to increase by another percentage point from 8 to 9 per cent.
In a Facebook post on Thursday (June 8), Mr Perera, representing the Serangoon ward of Aljunied GRC since 2020, said that residents he met during his house visit the previous evening had been “very chatty.”
“A few constituents spoke about the high cost of living, with so many categories of prices rising or else very high by historical standards (food, transport, housing, ERP, etc).
One person shared his dread at the prospect of GST rising again in January 2024. In his opinion, many merchants tend to raise prices disproportionately when the GST is hiked.”
The WP has been vocal about its objection to the GST increase, which has a two-step implementation, having gone up to 8 per cent at the beginning of this year.
The party had asked for the second part of the hike to be paused and an exemption on the tax for essential items, mainly due to inflation and the struggles many households to make ends meet, which residents had shared with the WP.
In a Facebook post last November, Mr Perera wrote, “The government’s decision to press ahead with the GST hike at this time does not embody the political courage that Singapore needs.”
He added that raising the GST when inflation rates are so high increases the risk of inflation getting even higher. “It is irresponsible to press ahead with this GST hike when inflation has not even been tamed.”
The resident who shared his concern with Mr Perera is not the only one who feels this way. A Reddit user wrote in a January 2 post titled “True sentiment about GST increase” that “the real issue that people complain about is that 1% increase somehow causes the products paid by the end consumer to increase by 5%- 20%. Your chicken rice which cost $4.50 last year can cost $5 now. That’s more than a 10% increase rather than just 1%.” The post owner added that they “feel the government could do a more active role in policing establishments that use the increase to hike up their prices as well as reassuring the people that any abuse of the increase will not be tolerated.” /TISG