Singapore

MPs worry about impact of GST hike

The goods and services tax (GST) hike is to take place between 2021 and 2025, but several MPs are already asking the Government if more could be done to ease the burden on the more vulnerable groups.

Some asked if the hike could be postponed, should the economy do better than expected.

The groups that concern them most are the low-income, retirees and small businesses.

Among the 28 MPs who spoke at yesterday's sitting, at least 10 touched on GST-related issues.

Ms Foo Mee Har (West Coast GRC) stressed the importance of helping the less well-off. She wants the lower- and middle-income households and seniors to get more help to cope with the higher cost of living.

Mr Henry Kwek (Nee Soon GRC) called for more active help for retired seniors, especially in monetising assets to cope with living expenses.

Dr Lim Wee Kiak (Sembawang GRC) and Nominated MP Thomas Chua worry about the GST impact on business.

Dr Lim wondered how it would hit tourism, as well as Singapore's competitive edge.

But the bigger concern is whether the hike will become an excuse for profiteering, said Ms Lee Bee Wah (Nee Soon GRC) and Mr Lim Biow Chuan (Mountbatten).

Ms Lee wants a taskforce formed to ensure businesses do not exploit consumers.

- SEOW BEI YI

Singapore Politics