Have progressive water tariff, not just a blunt hike
NANCY KOH RUI LING
While we understand the key objective of the water tariff hike, and that the specifics are still in the works, the rate of the proposed increase is shocking, especially at a time when the domestic economy is experiencing structural challenges.
I am sure the authorities are aware of the situation and the consequences.
But I hope they will also seriously consider the feedback, opinions and comments from concerned citizens, as well as some relevant articles by think-tanks in the water policy/management field.
It could be argued that the last water tariff hike was some 17 years ago, but this is coming on the heels of other increases, such as in parking fees and electricity charges.
Also, the steep 30 per cent increase is somewhat like raising the Goods and Services Tax, as all households, businesses and industries need to use water.
Yes, there will be rebates, grants or subsidies to soften the blow, but what about those who do not qualify for these?
And will the expected increase in water bills really encourage those who have made conscious efforts to reduce water consumption to continue doing so?
Perhaps, a progressive tariff, with penalties for those who consistently use too much water, or a tiered pricing mechanism, should be considered.
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