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They “always play this same old trick” – Singaporeans react to Government hiking electricity tariffs a day after announcing GST vouchers

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Several Singaporeans have pointed out that the Government revealed the increase in electricity tariffs a day after announcing that over 2 million Singaporeans could receive up to $450 thanks to the GST Voucher Scheme.

Earlier this week, the Government announced that about 1.39 million Singaporeans will receive up to S$300 in August, under the GST scheme. Another 485,000 Singaporeans aged 65 and above in 2018 will receive up to $450 that will be topped-up into their Medisave accounts.

Those who do not receive Pioneer Generation benefits could receive Medisave top-ups of up to S$200. Besides this, 900,000 Housing Development Board (HDB) households will be recipients of an additional U-Save of $20 a year to offset utilities bills, with 900,000 HDB households also receiving 1.5 to 3.5 months of S&CC rebates until January next year, depending on their HDB flat type.

Some Singaporeans responding to the GST vouchers expressed skepticism about whether the GST vouchers have been announced to soften the blow of a tax, fee or charge increase:

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True enough, something did increase. A day after the GST was announced, the Singapore Power (SP) Group revealed that electricity tariffs will increase by an average of 6.9% in the third quarter of 2018. This means that the tariffs for a family living in a four-room HDB flat will rise by an average of $5.61 monthly.

Many citizens on social media have expressed that the Government “always” gives the people something sweet before following it up with something bitter. Claiming that this happens “every single time,” Singaporeans have said that “giving a chicken wing and taking a whole chicken” is an “old trick”:

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