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Tharman takes opportunity to increase petrol tax while oil prices low

In his recent broadcast, Tharman Shanmugaratnam highlighted his longstanding connection with people. Yet, as Finance Minister, he raised petrol taxes amidst declining oil prices in 2015. Despite oil prices rebounding post-Covid, he never publicly called for a reverse of the hike, which raises doubt on his claimed ground-level understanding as Singaporeans grapple with high living costs.



by Adam

In a presidential candidate live broadcast aired on Thursday (Aug 24), Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam told everyone that he has a “long track record” on the ground connecting with people.

“I speak from experience, and a long track record on the ground for all to see: Of connecting with people from all walks of life, constantly seeking to bridge differences in views and building community spirit,” he said.

Mr Tharman was with the People’s Action Party (PAP) for more than 22 years before resigning just a month prior to his presidential run.

During his 22 years in politics, he ran the important Finance Ministry between 2007 and 2015 as its minister.

When he was still the Finance Minister in 2015, he opportunistically increased the petrol tax when he saw that the oil price suddenly declined below USD$60.
Spot prices for the international crude oil benchmark Brent averaged USD$52 in 2015, 53% below the level in 2014 and 49% below the average price over 2010-14. At the time, there was an excess of crude oil supply over global demand.

On 23 Feb 2015, he suddenly announced the increase in petrol duty rates during a budget speech in Parliament, capturing everyone by surprise.

“To encourage less car usage and reduce carbon emissions, I will raise petrol duty rates which have remained unchanged since 2003. The duty rates for premium grade petrol will be increased by $0.20 per litre and intermediate grade petrol by $0.15 per litre,” he announced.

“With falling oil prices, pump prices after the petrol duty changes would remain lower than the levels seen in the last two and a half years. These changes will take effect today…”

Then, he quickly added a sweetener providing some road tax rebates to motorists, although the rebates were meant to be only for a one-time offset.

“To ease the transition to the higher petrol duties, I will provide a one-year road tax rebate of 20% for cars, 60% for motorcycles and 100% for the small number of commercial vehicles using petrol.”

But the truth is oil prices did not sustain at that low level for long. By 2018-2019 before Covid, oil prices climbed back to about USD$70.

In fact, after countries began to open up last year after Covid, oil prices averaged USD$100.93 in 2022. Currently, it is trading at around USD$84.

Nevertheless, Mr Tharman did not seem to have bothered to call for reducing petrol duty when oil prices skyrocketed post-Covid.

Now that he quietly resigned from the government and now wants to run for President.

Mr Tharman has even positioned himself as a person “on the ground” able to connect with people while Singaporeans are struggling day after day to cope with the high cost of living including paying for the high-priced oil.
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No waiting needed…
Locals particularly those MGs and PGs ARE BALLESS….

Has a PAP ever reduced costs to citizens? Tharman is a hardcore PAP. He is doing LHL’s work. Please vote for TKL.

Lets hope George Goh steps in to endorse TKL. Pappy stooges pants fall off straightaway. LoL

Frankly, I am not too bothered about the EP although I intend to vote for TKL.

What is uppermost in my mind is whether and when Lawrence Wong will do anything about alleviating the cost of living and GST increase pressures as mentioned by the PM at the NDR.

And we wait to see the enhancements to the Silver Support Scheme and the CPF Matching Contribution Scheme as stated by the PM.

Perhaps the G will take up contributor Jessie’s idea to give $500 every month to those 65 and above as an enhancement to the Silver Support Scheme.

Vote for tharman next 5-10 years he will do nothing. As he himself says that president is not politician. So he can’t anything for u in terms of yr life. So why vote for him?

Yes, I rather have some one cock cut off if Tharman loose.

Vote wrongly , you will be rewarded with more CECAsians, imports, GST rises…HAHAHA

Vote wisely hor..

Like the saying goes… a leopard cannot change its spots.
You expect a die-hard pap follower like Tammy will suddenly look out for the average Joe?
How naive & simplistic and foolish he must think of us.

DPM Tharman will surely win and become our President. I challenge you fools. If he loses, I cut off my cock. If he wins, you go jump down from MBS. Who got balls here to take up this challenge from me? Otherwise, just shut your bloody mouth and stop badmouthing our DPM!

Can trust pappies? haha

What do they do to get $million dollar salaries? You know I know.

Food cost rising : Pappies increase GST and say its good for Singaporeans. Hahaha

Hello, Singapore is just a small little red dot. How many cars to you think you can squeeze onto our this little island? Take public transport lah! Forget about car and you don’t have to worry about petrol prices!

Btw, why author or Gutzy chose a photo of Tharman that resembles a pineapple? Isn’t that considered campaigning for specific candidate(s)?

Recall when as Finance Minister, Tharman increased the GST to 7% from 5% (2007). This despite calls to freeze the increase, or at least make it gradually – first to 6%, then after say 2-5 years to 7%. But no, he went straight to 7% – a 40% jump. The following year, when the increase brought an “unexpected” SURPLUS from collected revenues, he said with a (kelong?) smile that he was “pleasantly surprised“.

And people still think he had worked for the common Singaporeans at heart. More like for his Boss and himself.