The relentless rising cost of living in Singapore

In 2009, Mercer ranked Singapore as the 10th costliest countries in the world (see here).

The following is a collated list of price increases which TOC could find – from various news reports, blogs, websites, forums, etc – since Jan 2006 to the present.

If we have left out any, please do let us know. If you have observed any price hikes around your neighbourhood (or anywhere else) please let us know also.

We can be reached at [email protected]

The list may not be comprehensive and any clarification is welcome.


2006

Jan 9: Pump prices at all 29 Caltex stations will go up from 11pm on Monday night. Prices will go up by four cents per litre for all three grades. (link)

Feb 13: Polytechnics and ITE increase fees by $50 and $10 respectively (link) (link)

Feb 14: NTU, NUS to raise tuition fees by 3% from next academic year. Tuition fees at both the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University will go up by S$180 for the next academic year. This 3 percent increase comes on the heels of a 5 percent hike just last year. (link)

Mar 6: Expect annual tuition fee increases. Hostel fees will also go up by 10% to 11% from next academic year. (NTU) (link)

Mar 9: Retail pump prices for Synergy petrol and diesel at all Esso and Mobil service stations in Singapore were increased by 6 cents a litre. (link) (link)

June 1: NTUC Car Co-Op raises fuel surcharge: We cannot continue subsidizing the fuel price increase in the long run without compromising the quality of service. Thus, the management has decided to implement a fuel surcharge of $0.30 for every 10km free with effect from 1 June 2006. (link)

June 27: Electricity tariff to go up next quarter. Domestic users, for example, will have to pay 21.15 cents for every kWH of electricity, up from 20.49 cents currently. (link)

July 10: Comfort Delgro raises taxi fares. Besides raising the flag down fare and the peak hour surcharge from $1 to $2, ComfortDelgro is also making distance-related adjustment. (link) (link)

July: Taxi companies raise fares. (link) (link)

July 17: SMRT hikes taxi fares. (link)

Aug: SMRT, SBS apply for fare hike. (link)

Aug: NUS hikes tuition fees by between $180, $220, and $510, depending on faculty. (link)

Aug: ERP rates to go up at six gantries, mainly at CTE. (link)

Oct: Public Transport Council approves 1.7% fare increase for bus and trains. Adult EZ-link fares for buses and trains will increase by 1 to 3 cents, which amounts to an overall fare hike of 1.7 percent. (link)

Nov: SingPost revises postage rate. (link)

Nov 12: Rates for HDB rental flats pegged to income. (link)

Dec: Govt spells out fees to be frozen. (link)

2006: Loan sharks cases rise by 19%, to 10, 221 cases. (link)

2006: A total of 419 people committed suicide in 2006, up from 346 in 2003. The suicide rate per 100,000 residents – a sobering indicator in population statistics – is also on the upswing, growing from 9.3 in 2003 to 10.3 in 2006, figures from the Registry of Births and Deaths reveal. It is the fourth straight rise in as many years. (ST, Aug 13, 2007) (link)

2006: Islandwide, home rentals climbed 10 per cent in 2006. (ST, Aug 6, 2007) (link)

2006: At Alexandra Hospital, A&E charges went up from $55 to $60, as did C-class ward charges — from $21 to $23 — and subsidised specialist outpatient clinic consultation rates, from $18 to $20. (link)


2007

Jan: All diesel-driven vehicles to undergo smoke test. (link)

Jan: NUH’s A&E fee raised from $70 to $80. (link)

Jan: Skilled Foreign workers levy raised by $50, from $100 to $150, for all sectors. (link) (link)

Jan 26: SMU Law Course to cost more, NUS says it may increase fees too. (link)

Feb: KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital hikes ward treatment fees. (link)

Feb 14: Tax penalties from GST audits could increase. With the hike in Goods and Services Tax (GST) by two percentage points, tax analysts said tax penalties arising from businesses making mistakes in GST audits may also increase. (link)

Feb 25: Sunny Cove: Fees to Pulau Hantu Raised – As of 24th February 2007 (Saturday), the operator had increased the price for the chartering of boat to local water. With the price hike, all courses conducted at local water will be subjected to the increase from 25th February 2007 (Sunday) onwards. (link)

Feb 25: Eldershield premiums to go up by year’s end. (link)

April 1: Singapore Medical Association withdraws guidelines on fees. Doctors now have more flexibility to adjust their fees, following a decision by the Singapore Medical Association (SMA) to withdraw its guidelines on fees, as of 1 April. (link)

April 1: URA increase fees for Housing Developers’s Licence – from between $500 to $8,000. (link)

April 2: NUS revise car park charges. (link)

April 8: Means testing for hospital admission to start within a year. Subsidised patients that stay more than five days in a public hospital can expect some questions about their income. (link) (link)

April 11: Ikea to start charging customers for plastic bags. (ST, 11 April, 2007)

April 25: The Singapore American School increased tuition fees by between $425 and $1,000. (link)

April: Within hours of each other, the four petrol companies in Singapore – First Shell, then Singapore Petroleum Company (SPC), ExxonMobil and lastly Chevron – each revised its prices. The retail price of petrol and diesel rose by 10 cents. (Electric New Paper) (link) (link)

May 12: Inflation heads for a higher plane. For now, the major public concern is a rise in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from 5% to 7% in July, which is likely to exacerbate the series of worrying price increases over the past year. (Littlespeck)

May 14: NUH increase ward charges for B2 and C-class wards by $2, increases of 4 and 8 per cent. (link)

May 23: DBS raises its e-transaction fee for initial public offering (IPO) applications. Retail investors who applied for IPO shares launched on or after that date, through the local bank’s ATMs and Internet banking, were surprised that they now have to pay $2. (link)

May 29: New fee hikes at public hospitals and polyclinics. A NEW round of fee hikes is underway at most public hospitals and some polyclinics. Subsidised patients at four public hospitals will now pay $24 or $25 for every visit to a specialist clinic, up from about $21. All 18 polyclinics, which used to charge a standard consultation fee of $8 for adults, now charge anything from $8-$8.80. (link) (link) (link)

May: From milk to Milo, cooking oil to coffee, canned foods, processed foods, wheat products and more, prices have been rising recently at supermarkets and hypermarts here. (link) (link) (link)

June 1: Prices of milk go up. The price increase for condensed milk ranged from $0.10 to $0.50, which means the prices for some brands of condensed milk have gone up by nearly 45 per cent. The price increase for evaporated milk ranged from $0.15 to $0.47, marking a percentage increase of between 18 per cent to 48 per cent. (link) (link)

June 4: Online hosiery shop increases price. There will be a overall price increase on 4th June 2007 for all brands due to increased cost of yarns and cost of shipping. (link)

June 6: Even before the Nets fee hike kicks in, a shoe shop in Parkway Parade has already started charging customers extra to cover the increase. (link)

June 7: Wholesale price of ducks goes up. The wholesale price of ducks has increased by 20 cents a kilogram. (link)

June 7: Eggs price increase. Eggs now cost between 17 cents and 18 cents each. (link)

June 29: Rental space rents rise. Islandwide, rents at Grade A malls have moved up by between 5-7 per cent in the first half of this year and could increase by another 5-6 per cent by end-2007, analysts said. (Business Times, June 29, 2007) (link)

June 29: Fees up by 14% on average at NUS. Two days before the higher 7-per-cent GST kicked in on July 1, prospective students of the continuing education arm of the National University of Singapore (NUS) received news that fees for many courses had gone up — by an average 14 per cent. (link)

July 1st: GST increased from 5% to 7%. (link) (link)

July 1st: THE Singapore Petroleum Company (SPC) and market leader ExxonMobil became the first companies to raise pump prices at their petrol stations following the GST hike. The two companies increased prices across the board for their three grades of petrol and diesel by 0.23 cents to 0.33 cents per litre from 7am. Caltex will be increasing its pump prices on Monday. (ST, July 1, 2007) (link) (link)

July 1st: NETS announced a price hike for its Electronic Funds Transfer Point-of-Sale (EFTPOS) and CashCard Services to between 1.5% and 1.8%. (link) (link)

July 1st: Pasir Ris – Punggol Town Council revise penalties for late payment of S&C charges to 2% and absorb 7% GST. (2004 rates) (2007 rates)

July 1st: Cigarette prices up as bar ban kicks in. Tobacco companies raised the prices of popular brands by an average of 40 cents. This brought the price of a 20-stick pack of Marlboro or Dunhill cigarettes, for example, to $11.60. (AsiaOne)

July 3: Resale price index for HDB flats rise 2.9% from 3 months before. (link)

July 4: The Committee Against GST Profiteering (CAP) has found price changes to be generally moderate since the announcement of the GST increase in November 2006. (link)

July 10: Changi General Hospital increases A&E charges. Following in the wake of earlier hikes by the National University Hospital and Alexandra Hospital, CGH this month increased its A&E attendance fee by $10 — or 15 per cent — to $75. For the B2 and C-class wards, the daily treatment fee went up by $1, representing a 6-to-10-per-cent increment. The daily ward charge for B2 wards also rose by $1, or 2 per cent. (link)

July 11: Starhub raise prices for cable tv packages. SCV subscribers pay $4 more across the board. (link) (link) (link)

July 11: The Committee Against GST Profiteering has received 33 complaints in the past six months about price increases, all dealing with food items. About 10 cases involve chain businesses. (ST, July 11, 2007) (link)

July 15: Electricity tariffs to be raised by almost 9% for July to September. (link)

July 18: Govt raises development charge from 50% to 70% for new building projects from 50 per cent to 70 per cent of the increase in value of the land. (link) (link)

July 21: HDB rents at 10-year high. For the first time in recent memory, monthly rents for some HDB flats have pushed northwards of $2,000 in leases signed in the last couple of months. (ST, 21 July 2007) (link)

July 25: Hospital bills up 10% to 30% across all ward classes. (link)

July: July inflation hits 2.6%, highest in over 12 years. (link)

July (CPI): Housing costs increased 4.9 per cent because of higher housing maintenance charges, electricity tariffs and rented accommodation costs. (ST, Aug 23, 2007) (link)

July (CPI): Food prices went up by 1.4 per cent, mainly due to dearer cooked food, fresh fish, fruits, vegetables and milk powder. (link)

July (CPI): Transport and communication prices moved up by 1 per cent, reflecting mainly dearer petrol and higher car prices. (link)

July (CPI): The index for education and stationery rose by 2.1 per cent as a result of higher fees at commercial institutions and universities. (link)

July (CPI): Prices of clothing and footwear increased by 3.9 per cent. (link)

July (CPI): Health care cost rose by 2.2 per cent on account of dearer chinese herbs and higher charges for general medical consultation and dental treatment. (link)

Aug 2: SBS, SMRT seeking bus, train fare increases. If approved, transport fares could rise by up to three cents from October. (link)

Aug 2: Singapore Airlines raises fuel surcharge – from between US$2, US$5 and US$9. (link)

Aug 6: ERP rates at Orchard, YMCA and Fort Canning Tunnel to go up. From August 6, cars passing the Orchard, YMCA and Fort Canning Tunnel gantries will be charged an additional $0.50. That makes it $1 per entry. Rates for motorcycles will also double to $0.50. Goods vehicles and small buses will now be charged $1.50. Heavy goods vehicles and big buses will be charged $2. (link)

Aug 7: Student made to pay adult fare. (link)

Aug 7: Cost of living in S’pore getting higher compared to neighbours. Singapore retains its 9th position out of 41 Asian locations as the most costly city. (CNA)

Aug 7: Car insurance premiums likely to increase. Higher premium rates for car insurance look almost certain, after the motor sector suffered a second consecutive quarter of losses. Rises could be between 5 and 10 per cent, according to one insurer, as the industry battles higher claims. (AsiaOne, ST, Aug 7, 2007)

Aug 8: 17% hike in Delifrance’s tuna croissant sandwich, from $5.05 to $5.90. (link)

Aug 10: Change of supplier sees spike in price of medicine. A 80ml bottle of Minoxi 5 from Trima Pharmaceutical used to cost $38.50. This time round, the price was $45.50 for a 60ml bottle. Going by volume, the price increase was a hefty 57.6 per cent. (ST Forum, Aug 10, 2007) (link)

Aug 13: Up to 30% levy imposed on hotel room revenues during F1 race. The Trade and Industry Ministry (MTI) has decided a levy of 30 per cent for hotels on the trackside, and 20 per cent for others. (link)

Aug 23: More ERP gantries, extended hours. (link) (link)

Aug 24: By Aug 24, the Committee Against GST Profiteering had received 115 complaints on alleged GST profiteering. In the first two weeks of July, after the GST increase came into effect, 49 complaints were received, surpassing the 30 complaints received in May. (ST, Aug 29, 2007)

Aug 27: Singapore raises 2007 inflation forecast to 1-2 per cent. Singapore‘s central bank confirmed an apparent off-the-cuff remark by Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang in parliament that inflation would come in at 1-2 percent this year, above the government’s previous forecast of 0.5-1.5 percent. (Reuters)

Aug 29: Middle-aged suicide rate up. In 2003, there were 14 suicides (of men in their 40s and 50s) per 100,000. In 2006, it went up to 19 per 100,000. For women, there were 8 per 100,000. In 2006, it went up to 13 per 100,000. (TODAY, Aug 29, 2007) (link)

Aug 29: Storage boom as rents rise. Companies which provide self-storage facilities are reporting a rise in rentals by foreigners as rising rental prices force more of them to downsize. (The Electric New Paper, Aug 29, 2007) (link)

Aug 31: Government raises property development charges. For non-landed residential use, the charge was raised by an average of 58 percent with prime areas like Cantonment Road seeing the biggest jump of 112 percent. Areas seeing the highest increase (of over 100 percent) include Telok Ayer, Maxwell, Shenton, Anson and South Bridge Road. (CNA)

Sept 1st: New dog licensing rules. To discourage dog owners from keeping unlicensed dogs, allowing their dogs to stray or not muzzling dogs of breeds2 that are required to be muzzled in a public place (eg, the Rottweiller or Mastiff); the maximum fine for such offences has been raised from $500 to $5,000. (link)

Sept 5: Esso won’t go public on fuel price changes. IF YOU are an Esso customer, you will not know if the price of your fuel has changed until you drive right up to a pump. ExxonMobil – the biggest player here with 74 out of the total of about 200 stations – has adopted a new policy against revealing changes in pump prices to the media. Neither does it display prices at station e