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MTI warns against liquor profiteering

The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) is keeping close watch on liquor prices to prevent profiteering.

It said last night that "businesses should not take advantage of the increase in liquor duties to raise prices unduly at the expense of consumers".

It was responding to media reports that some vendors might raise prices due to the increase in liquor excise duties announced in Budget 2014 last Friday. "This includes Mr Thomas Foo, chairman of Kheng Keow Coffee Merchants Restaurant and Bar-Owners Association, who indicated to the media that a bottle of beer that costs around $6 could go up to over $7," MTI said.

Excise duties rose by 25 per cent for all liquor types with immediate effect.

"...Even if the additional duty is fully passed on to consumers, the price of a typical can of beer (323 ml) should increase by about 20 cents, while a typical bottle of beer (663ml) should increase by only about 40 cents at coffee shops," said MTI.

Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Lee Yi Shyan said MTI will work closely with the Consumer Association of Singapore and the Competition Commission of Singapore to monitor the market.

BY THE numbers

The number of passengers handled by Singapore Changi Airport last month, an increase of 6.3 per cent on-year, said Changi Airport Group in a statement yesterday.

4.6 million