In a written response to a Parliamentary question filed by Non-Constituency MP Leon Perera in Parliament today (9 Jul), Education Minister Ong Ye Kung now says that the parking fees imposed on teachers will be retained by the schools.
He also revealed that an estimated S$8 million to S$10 million of parking fees could be collected annually from the teachers from the 360 primary schools, secondary schools and junior colleges in Singapore.
The latest announcement by Minister Ong appears to be a conciliatory reaction from the overwhelming negative public response towards charging teachers for parking.
Starting from August, all teachers will have to pay a monthly parking fee of S$75 for an uncovered lot and S$100 for a sheltered lot for parking their cars in schools. During the school holidays, the rate is lowered to S$15 and S$20 for an uncovered lot and sheltered lot, respectively.
For motorcycles, the monthly season parking rate during the school term is S$13 for an uncovered lot and S$14 for a sheltered lot. During the school holidays, the rates for uncovered and sheltered lots are S$2 and S$3 respectively.
The review of the carpark fees was conducted by the Ministry of Education in 2016, following the Auditor-General Office’s 2015 annual report which found three education institutions did not impose charges or imposed below market rate charges for use of their car pars. The office noted that such practices are tantamount to providing hidden subsidises for vehicle parking and not in line with the requirement laid down in the Government Instruction Manuals. The three institutions are; Institute of Technical Education, Singapore Polytechnic and Temasek Polytechnic.
It’s not known what the schools will do with the parking fees collected from the teachers.
In a Facebook post, the Workers’ Party’s Pritam Singh had said that he is against charging teachers for parking fees.
“Some public sector professions and services – and I count teachers among them – must always be seen in an elected government’s eye through a lens that recognises their direct and indirect contributions to nation-building,” he said.
Meanwhile, it has been reported that MPs only pay $365 a year or $1 a day parking at HDB carparks in the course of doing their constituency work.