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Singapore netizens question water price hike timing and its Impact on daily life

Numerous netizens are scrutinizing the water price hike’s timing, especially in the wake of the conclusion of the Presidential Election 2023, which saw the landslide victory of former PAP senior Minister Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam as Singapore’s ninth President.

They voice a spectrum of concerns, including the potential effects on food and commodity prices, the operational costs of businesses, and speculation regarding future price hikes.

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On Wednesday (27 Sep), Singapore’s national water agency, PUB, made a significant announcement regarding a forthcoming 18% increase in water prices over the next two years, in light of rising production and supply costs since 2017.

As of now, potable water for most households is priced at S$2.74 (US$2.01) for every 1,000 litres.

This price augmentation translates to an added 50 cents per cubic metre, divided over two increments: 20 cents in 2024 and 30 cents in 2025.

By 2025’s end, a majority of households will experience a minimal increase in their monthly bills, under S$10, PUB projected.

Businesses, on the other hand, will face diverse impacts. While three-quarters of them will witness less than a S$25 monthly hike, hawkers will see a moderate increment of less than S$15.

It is the households with larger water consumption, beyond 40 cubic metres a month, that are set to endure the most substantial surge in their water bills. Their rate will surge by 70 cents for every excess cubic metre consumed, amounting to S$4.39 by 2025.

Simultaneously, the price for NEWater — Singapore’s treated reclaimed wastewater used mainly for industry and cooling — will ascend by 17 cents, also in two stages.

The price surge in water rates is attributed to several factors, including a substantial 37% increase in electricity market tariffs, a 35% spike in construction costs, rising expenses for essential water treatment chemicals, and mounting maintenance costs.

Additionally, the agency also emphasized the rising operational costs and heavy investments required for water infrastructure, such as the second phase of the Deep Tunnel Sewerage System which costs S$6.5 billion, nearly double its first phase.

As Singapore anticipates nearly doubling its water demand by 2065, PUB will increasingly rely on NEWater and desalinated water, two of its primary water sources, despite their higher production costs, due to their resilience against extreme climate impacts.

The PUB has rebuffed any suggestions of postponing this price surge, emphasizing that a delay would necessitate even steeper price hikes in the near future. According to PUB, this decision supports its commitment to ensure Singapore’s water security amidst climate change and burgeoning water demands.

In light of these changes, the government is set to introduce financial aid for lower- and middle-income households to alleviate the cost of living pressures.

Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong will reveal more details on the upcoming support measures.

Dr Amy Khor, the Senior Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment had earlier on 11 September prewarned the water price increment.

She noted that the cost of water delivery in Singapore is rising, and this trend may persist, despite the incorporation of innovative technologies, adding that this likely escalation will be reflected in the country’s water prices.

Netizens express shock over water price increase announcement following PE2023 conclusion

When analyzing the Facebook comment sections of Singapore’s mainstream media outlets CNA and The Straits Times, it becomes evident that numerous netizens are deeply surprised by PUB’s recent announcement regarding the water price hike. Many are questioning the timing of this increase.

Furthermore, a Reddit discussion thread has revealed a wide range of concerns among comments.

These concerns encompass the potential impact on food and commodity prices, the operational expenses of businesses, and speculation about future price hikes.

For instance, some individuals also express apprehension about the ripple effect of this water price increment on other everyday expenses.

They fear that it could lead to higher prices for items as diverse as a cup of coffee, dining out, and the costs associated with food, services, and production.

Concerns arise over water price hike’s broader impact

CNA’s article states that HDB households and non-HDB households can expect average monthly increases of S$7 and S$8, respectively.

However, a Redditor has raised a valid point, suggesting that focusing solely on the monthly household water bill increase oversimplifies the issue.

“An increase in water prices also means an increase in production costs for food and other industrial goods. And all these will probably be passed on to the consumer.”

Consequently, the overall monthly rise in expenditure could surpass the seemingly modest $7-8 estimate, reflecting the broader repercussions of this price hike.

Water price increase exacerbates Inflation woes alongside GST hike

A concerned netizen aptly likened the rising water prices to a concealed form of GST increase.

This comparison holds weight, considering that nearly all sectors, if not the majority, rely on water for their services or manufacturing processes.

As a result, consumers should brace themselves for higher costs across the board, spanning from food and beverages to services and products.

Sarcastic comments “Thanks PAP”

Amidst the growing financial burden, a few netizens have chosen to lighten the mood with some tongue-in-cheek comments.

One individual sarcastically remarked, “I love PAP. Thanks for adding more suffering.”

Taking this dark humor a step further, another comment playfully stated, “PAP is the best and perfect government in the world. PAP always make all Singaporeans happy and live longer. Singaporeans can buy all the things in the world. PAP says Singapore is still cheap and affordable.”

Netizens scrutinize water price hikes post-PE 2023

In the aftermath of the Presidential Election 2023, during which Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, a former senior minister of the People’s Action Party, secured a resounding victory as Singapore’s ninth President with a staggering 70.41% of the vote (1,749,261 votes), certain netizens have begun to scrutinize the timing of the water price hikes.

They find themselves pondering the coincidence of this announcement shortly after such a significant political event.

PUB net Income over the decade

Like many nations, Singapore faces rising costs associated with water production and distribution. Chief among these challenges are mounting inflation and construction expenses.

Singapore’s water pricing underwent its most recent adjustment in 2017, which led to a 30% increase over two years and sparked a protest at Hong Lim Park.

A scrutiny of the PUB’s annual reports reveals a Net Income of $2.4b after Government Grants and Contributions to the Consolidated Fund and Tax over the decade preceding FY2021, according to Singaporean blogger and financial adviser Leong Sze Hian.

This puts Minister Khor and PUB’s assertions on financial constraints and potential price increments into question.

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WATCH THE WATER.
SEE A FAMILIAR FACE?
“OUR ATTEMPT TO VACCINATE THE ENTIRE PLANET FAILED”.

https://t.me/TRUTHSocialMediaPlatform/4136

Whatever increase and whatever BS reasons is invalid. The real reason is because we have a very expensive cabinet to upkeep. These crooks in white are paid exorbitant salaries so we the citizens have to maintain their rock star lifestyle.

comment image

He has to take instructions from the advice of pappies. tsk tsk tsk

There you go….You sinkies asked for it . Who did you voted for?

Once they are voted out …if the local got the BALLS TO DO SO, THE TRUE PRICE OF WATER OF WHAT THEY HAVE BEEN SELLING TO THE CITIZENS AND THE TRUE COST OF WATER ON THEIR END , WOULD EMERGE.
AND SINCE BOLEH LAND NEVER RAISE THE PRICE OF RAW WATER SOLD TO THEM , THE FUCKING DAFT LOCALS WOULD BE SHELL SHOCKED TO SEE HOW THEY HAVE BEEN SCREWED FOR DECADES!!😆😆😆😆😆😆

Busy counting how many zeros going to be added to his bank account over his team in the opulent office.

deserving.

Typical SillyPorean, … absolutely bloody typical !!!

Moans and groans, … af~ter an official price hike announcement !!!

Government steps in and offer a few vouchers, comforting words and the ubiquitous chicken wings, … as a heartfelt gesture, … to assist it’s people !!!

Fast forward 3 to 4 SillyPore weeks, and, … it’s all hunky dory again and let’s let bygones be bygones, … and if there was a GE then, … they’d still flippin vote pap !!!

Typical SillyPorean, … absolutely bloody typical !!!

30% do not have questions and expected all sort of nonsense from PAP

These questions are from the 70%, who did not believe what the 30% believes.

And the questions from the 70% are idiotic questions which will
be answered from an idiotic Minister, ministry etc.
The 70% will swallow these answers but grumble.
When the opportunity arises for the 70% to make changes,
their balls shrivel and drop off

The cycle then repeats.
This is called mental illness.
The 70% are mentally challenged.

Much like Plato’s Allegory of the Cave..
(search for it in Youtube)

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