SINGAPORE — Peoples Voice (PV) Chief Lim Tean led a team of party members to Potong Pasir SMC on Sunday (9 Apr) to meet with residents and discuss their concerns about the rising cost of living.
Posting on his Facebook page, Mr Lim shared a few intense discussions that the PV team had with many residents who shared their struggles with the relentless increase in the cost of living.
One young couple with two young children shared the most heartrending account of their difficulties in affording milk powder in Singapore.
He shared that the couple reported having to make regular trips to Johor Bahru to buy essentials and milk powder for their family due to Singapore’s high cost of living.
The couple also mentioned that some senior citizens they knew could not afford food and had to drink milk made from milk powder to satiate their hunger. PV advised them to seek assistance from food banks.
Mr Lim, in his Facebook post about the visit, expressed concern about the impact of levying GST on essentials such as food and medicine.
He pointed out that in countries like the United Kingdom, VAT (equivalent to GST) is not levied on essentials like food, medicine, and books.
He argued that it is morally wrong to impose GST on such essential items, and that it exacerbates the problem of hunger rather than solving it.
Mr Lim also took a swipe at Potong Pasir MP Sitoh Yih Pin, who he claimed had advocated for the rise in GST.
During the bill’s passing to increase GST from 7% to 9% last year, Mr Sitoh voiced his support for the move, citing his belief that it is not possible or advisable for the government to shield Singaporeans from difficult economic conditions worldwide.
The People’s Action Party Member of Parliament emphasized the importance of the government being prudent with spending, and argued that spending beyond their means now would only result in additional pain for future generations.
While the government aims to reduce the impact of economic challenges on Singaporeans, Mr Sitoh argued that providing complete analgesia would make them unaware of potential long-term consequences, which could have disastrous outcomes that need to be prevented.
Mr Lim questioned the value of having an MP who only makes people’s lives harder, and urged residents to vote for change in the upcoming elections, which some speculate may happen this year or early next year.