Photo of Lee Hsien Loong from Facebook

Feeling poorer each year? You’re not alone. Singaporeans are indeed getting poorer each year, or at least S$1,000 poorer in 2018 from tax increases alone. Below is the estimation of the increases in a year:

Utility +S$200
Utility bills will increase by S$200 a year, no thanks to the 30% water price hike and corresponding increase in gas tariffs. 2018 will also see a new carbon tax in the utility bill, which the government claimed will help Singaporeans to be “more conscious” of electricity usage.

Public transport +S$150
Free early morning MRT rides before 7.45am will be terminated and replaced with just 50-cents discount for travel.

Grocery prices +S$150
NTUC and supermarkets will start charging 10-cent for every plastic bag. As most food import are from Malaysia, the government’s recent increase in cross border tariffs have significantly ramp up import food daily delivery charges.

Food prices +S$150
A carry-forward from the 30% water price increase, drinks prices have increased S$0.20 to S$0.50 in all kopitiams. A cup of kopi is now at least S$1.20 everywhere. Food prices in kopitiams are expected to increase by S$0.50 due to increase in import costs. A plate of chicken rice cost on average S$4. For those who patronise the newer government kopitiams, be prepared to pay more as they charge a penalty for cash transactions or demand one place a deposit for tray-return.

General inflation +S$100
Aside from increase in cross border taxes, prices across all goods and services will increase another 2-3% due to the combined increase in airport taxes, carpark charges, COE price increase, property tax, foreign manpower levies and any other increases that weigh on business costs. Businesses will, and has always, pass any increase in costs to commuters to maintain their balance sheet. If you have children, school fees and tuition costs are going up.

Mortgage loan +S$300
Following an increase in SIBOR rate, homeowners with floating home loan rate are expected to pay more. According to Reuters, every 0.1% increase of the SIBOR rate translates to about S$25 more a month for a household on a S$300,000 loan for 25-years.

GST increase +S$800 per 1%
While the government has not confirmed how much GST increase it will be, every 1% increase will correspondingly increase spendings to S$800 a year for the average person who spends S$1,000 a month.

Singapore has been the world’s most expensive city and country in the world consecutively for 4 years. 2018 is going to be a record for sure. Salaries in Singapore have been stagnant for years, except for the top 10% income earners like lawyers, senior managers, doctors and company directors. Wage growth has been non-existent for the rest and more poor people are taking to the streets picking up cardboard for a living.