Despite after having increased water prices by 30%, Minister for Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli said in Parliament today (Mar 1) that water prices must increase further to “reflect scarcity”:
“Unlike how housing, healthcare and education are subsidised in Singapore, water has to be priced fully as it is a matter of national security, and consumers must feel the full price of water to realise its value. But even with the impending 30 per cent hike in water prices, the price of water in Singapore will still be lower than the long run marginal cost – which is the increase in cost over the long run from increasing production.”
The PAP Minister said that the “best way” to make Singaporeans understand the preciousness of every drop of water is to make them pay:
“Water is a strategic issue. It is a national security (issue). We must price water fully… The consumer must feel the full price of water. The consumer must realise how valuable water is to us in Singapore every time he or she turns on the tap, right from the first drop. This is the best way to emphasise the scarcity value of water.”
The recent 30% increase in water prices taking effect this July will cause an average increase of S$12 per month for each HDB household, and spike an increase in prices for all industries especially the FnB and food supply chain sector.
The Singapore government in their initial claims said that they need more money to build more water production infrastructure, but failed to explain while excess water by the millions of gallons were sold to Malaysia as profits. Furthermore, the annual report of the Public Utilities Board (PUB) show a yearly profit of more than a hundred million every year since inception. In 2016 alone, PUB posted a S$166 million profit in its annual report. PAP Minister Masagos Zulkifli however claimed that the profit is a result of government subsidies, but he did not explain why government taxes are overpaid that resulted in the massive profit.