SINGAPORE: Two Members of Parliament from The Workers’ Party—Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh (Aljunied GRC) and Mr Louis Chua (Sengkang GRC)— have filled a full motion for debate at the next sitting in Parliament, scheduled for Nov 6, on Singapore’s Cost of Living Crisis.
“The subject of the motion reads as follows. 𝐂𝐎𝐒𝐓 𝐎𝐅 𝐋𝐈𝐕𝐈𝐍𝐆 𝐂𝐑𝐈𝐒𝐈𝐒: 𝐓𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐇𝐨𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐜𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐬 𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐆𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐧𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐫𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰 𝐢𝐭𝐬 𝐩𝐨𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐬𝐨 𝐚𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐥𝐨𝐰𝐞𝐫 𝐜𝐨𝐬𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐥𝐢𝐯𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐮𝐫𝐞𝐬 𝐨𝐧 𝐒𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐚𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐧𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐢𝐫 𝐟𝐚𝐦𝐢𝐥𝐢𝐞𝐬. We will debate robustly with the Government on the measures we believe it can take to alleviate the current cost of living crisis. #wpsg #makeyourvotecount,” the WP said in a social media post on Oct 26 (Thursday).
Indeed, various WP MPs have been shining a light on the issue, saying that Singapore’s cost of living pressure is a recurring theme that members of the public have been bringing to their attention in the ground engagements they have been holding.
“Many have expressed their concerns to us around the concurrent price increases for food, water, housing and both public and private transport, among others. With the Goods & Services Tax (GST) scheduled to increase yet again to nine per cent in 2024, this could add further pressures to the cost of living crisis faced by many Singaporeans and their families,” the WP added in its post.
Earlier this year, Mr Singh wrote in his May Day message, “Singaporeans are already living through one of the most rapid cost of living rises in recent history, eroding the purchasing power of their wages. MAS reported that headline inflation for 2023 is expected to ‘come in higher’ at 5.5 per cent to 6.5 per cent, reflecting the increasing price of transport, property and the effect of the 1 per cent GST hike.”
And more recently, in Parliament, Mr Chua asked the Government to defer the proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST) hike. The GST was raised from 7 per cent to 8 per cent this year and set to go up to 9 per cent on Jan 1, 2024.
Urging the Government to defer the hike, Mr Chua cited the “cost of living crisis which is threatening the living standards of many Singaporeans” and “a better-than-expected fiscal position for the Government”. There have been “yet another year of record high collections of corporate income tax, personal income tax and even GST,” he noted.
His fellow Sengkang GRC MP Jamus Lim also addressed rising living costs lately, having heard from residents that they are a pressing concern. “There was a common theme, however: that the recent price increases—postal, water, gas, and electricity—were all coming on the back of already-substantial spikes in the cost of food. Their proximity and size led one resident to exclaim that these were ‘too close, too many, can’t breathe’,” wrote the MP. /TISG