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3/01/2008

All govt fees and charges frozen

Did I read somewhere that all govt fees and charges are frozen at least till the end of the year? What is this that development charges for properties are being raised, as high as 38.9% for hospitals and hotels? Would these not add on to the self inflicted inflation and high cost of living? Would the increases not pass to the consumers eventually? And were these increases caused by external factors beyond our control? Private sector has been told not to increase cost unnecessarily. Now what kind of wayang is this?

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

A freeze on charges this year is just to defuse the situation as I was expecting, but be prepared for the double whack next year when the charges are raised. When ministers cut their pay during the recession, they more than compensated themselves recently by announcing a 20% salary increase afterwards. Ordinary Singaporeans, who are also subjected to the salary cut, do not have the luxury of a 20% salary increase. We have been suckered big time and all the time. So, don't be too happy about the freeze. They just don't want you to make too much noise about the surplus or clamour for a reversal of the 2% GST increase. And what better way to do that than offering a lollipop.

Matilah_Singapura said...

> Private sector has been told not to increase cost unnecessarily. Now what kind of wayang is this?

You're right. It is a wayang.

Everyone in the private sector would like to charge the sky for their goods (a natural human trait), but they CANNOT because of rivalrous competition—especially "bang-for-the-buck" price competition.

So the long-term players in the private sector always try to hold prices down by superb cost control and efficiency gains. As I was told by one of my clients in the last recession:

"We will make profits — we rather not raise prices, so we can't get our profit from the top line. Therefore we'll get it from the BOTTOM line."

Immediately 20% of their workforce was put off and every department's budget slashed.

But never so in govt. whenever there is a "problem", the answer is always "MORE money", taken from none other than The People.

Matilah_Singapura said...

P.S.

Freezing govt fees and charges is a great idea.

However, like the private sector, there is no "free lunch". The govt dept in question will have to slash its budgets and sack some of its (usually lazy and useless anyway) workers.

Basic rule: Want to PAY LESS? Then have a SMALLER, less expensive govt. S'pore govt is too big, wields far too much power, and costs a BOMB to maintain...and worse of all, it keeps getting BIGGER and more expensive.

redbean said...

my two comments.

i still remember vividly what chee hian said when the salary was raised. still not enough and another raise on the way.

no free lunch? what do you think the sinkees were told to do these few days, and for free?

Anonymous said...

They used to dish out free breakfast in Hougang and Potong Pasir, but the fairy tale has ended. So, sometimes free hunches are given to win votes. Don't say no free lunch hor!