Photo of HDB carpark from street directory

After a facing a public backlash over a 20% jump in parking fees, the Housing Development Board (HDB) announced through the government state media, The Straits Times, that it will lose S$100 million a year if there is no fee hike.

Both URA and HDB complained that they were making losses but did not explain why even though they hired lesser car park attendants due to automation technologies and even outsourced the enforcement manpower to private employment agencies:

“…operating costs which include maintenance, financing, depreciation and overall operating expenses have risen by 40 per cent since 2002… Without the increase in the carpark charges, HDB will face an average shortfall of more than $100 million for its carpark activity in the coming financial years.”

URA made S$71 million in income from parking fees and related charges this year (FY2015) but it defended its profits by saying that it need to price the fees “appropriately to manage demand”. HDB made S$595 million in income this year.

The 154th ranking government paper supported HDB and URA by quoting an anonymous source claiming to be an “industry insider”, that Electronic Parking System can cost up to S$150,000 and operating costs have increased up to 30%.

Minister of National Development Lawrence Wong is avoiding commentary on the matter out of popularity rating, as he is one of the four PAP Ministers – Chan Chun Sing, Tan Chuan Jin, Heng Swee Keat – unofficially contesting for the Prime Minister position. His predecessor, Minister Khaw Boon Wan, claimed to lose S$2 billion every year building HDB BTO flats for Singaporeans without providing evidence.

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