Singapore opposition politicians won’t support GST hike plans

OPPOSITION politicians in Singapore won’t support the government’s plan to proceed with a goods and services tax hike amid inflationary concerns.

The Workers’ Party on Wednesday said it “cannot support” the decision to raise the consumption-based tax and will “continue to argue” against any proposed increase.

The statement, posted on the party’s Facebook page, came after Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong said the timing of the tiered tax hike won’t be revised despite concerns over mounting price pressures. The tax is set to rise to 8% from 7% in January next year and then to 9% in 2024.

Inflation in the trade-reliant business hub has surged, leading the Monetary Authority of Singapore to tighten monetary policy three times in the past eight months. The core inflation print for May, to be announced Thursday, is expected to climb further from a decade-high of 3.3% in April, according to a Bloomberg survey.

Earlier this week, the government announced a S$1.5 billion (US$1.1 billion) package to blunt the impact of rising living costs on lower-income households. The package includes direct payments and household utilities rebates for vulnerable groups as well as increased wage credit and job support for local businesses. — Bloomberg / pic AFP