After PAP had decided to increase water prices, SMOS Indranee made an incredibly stupid statement at government REACH forum. Indranee said that the cost of goods “should not and ought not go up“ despite the cost water – a basic necessity – increasing.
However, Indranee has now been contradicted by Minister Lim in CNA’s “Government is keeping a close eye on business costs, economy: Lim Hng Kiang”.
Lim: “…new measures such as the impending hike in water prices, are expected to have a moderate impact on business costs overall”. Question for Indranee:
Do you expect businesses to accept lower profits/losses simply because PAP wants to increase government revenue?
The price of a cup of coffee or tea will soon increase. As will launderette prices, swimming pool entrance fees, etc. Hopefully, SMOS Indranee will not claim the entire population has misunderstood her statement.
Minister Lim has rightly not defended PAP’s arbitrary water price increase. Nevertheless, he appears to be in denial of PAP-created economic issues, ie businesses are struggling under the weight of PAP increasing business costs to its benefit.
CNA: “Rising business costs, in particular RENTAL costs, has been brought up by several MPs this week as a key issue that local firms are struggling with”.
Minister Lim has his own take: “..keep a close eye on business costs to ensure they do not rise excessively. On the issue of rental costs, .. the problem has not been so severe … given that rental rates have fallen … over the last three years.”
The above is a typical situation of PAP ignoring feedback. Here we have several MPs highlighting feedback from businesses to a minister who simply brushed off their concerns as a “problem (that) has not been so severe”.
How does keeping a close eye help when inaction has always been PAP’s follow up? And Minister Lim seems agreeable to rising costs so long as they are not excessive, no?
The issue of high rental has been highlighted for years but PAP, being the biggest landlord, has vested interest in only high rental and exorbitant real estate prices.
According to a Singapore Business Federation survey, crippling business costs was the top concern way back in … 2011 and 2012.
Is PAP helping businesses by increasing:
University fees? (less disposable income)
Car park charges?
Petrol duty in 2015?
Town council S & CC? (less disposable income)
Increasing costs to help businesses? It appears that Minister Lim is not the only one hard of hearing but the entire cabinet, all PAP MPs and top civil servants have been deaf for some time. An appointment with an ENT specialist is overdue.
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Minister Lim has acknowledged PAP’s impending cost increase will add pressure to businesses but he also dismisses this by claiming that there will only be a “moderate impact on business costs overall”. Why then did the government increase costs in the face of economic uncertainties?
Minister Lim seems well aware that certain segments of the economy such as food manufacturing and semiconductor “could take a bigger hit from higher water prices”. He then tries to reassure Singaporeans that the PAP is (again) closely monitoring our economy and is also ready to take decisive action. But whatever action taken by the government may be too late because increasing costs is simply an unnecessarily high risk to take.
By pushing ahead with cost increases without any debate, PAP will ultimately be fighting self-created fires.
Like other ministers, Minister Lim has continued to ignore the impact of high costs on businesses. Hmm .. businessmen highlighting their concerns to PAP MPs for fun isit?
How excessive must cost be for PAP to realise its folly in increasing costs amid global uncertainties? Must businesses go bust in record numbers before PAP stops living in denial?