Ultimately I fear SSS the most though the imposition of SST has caused me some concern. I read that toothpaste and toiletries will increase by 10percent this Saturday on 1 September. SSS is “stubbornly strong Singaporean (dollar)” as the Star newspapers put it today. It means every time I visit Singapore it will be more expensive. In fact I am one of the few in my former School’s group that argued for the retention of GST.
First, it is only 6 percent and NZ’s GST is 12.5 or 15 percent and Singapore is going to raise it to 9percent in 2 years’ time. Second, it is a broad consumption tax which means almost every citizen pays GST and in principle it is good as we take part in the supporting the nation’s finances. Malaysia has a population of 31 million people with at least 10 million wage earners or having a steady income but only one million plus people pay personal income tax. No government can survive with such a low tax base. Hence, SST returns and excise tax on imported cars will not be cut anytime soon. An Mazda 2 costs about RM60k in New Zealand but in Malaysia it is 90K. Let’s not talk about Singapore’s COE. But with a stubbornly strong Sing dollar and USD Malaysia will be hit with higher prices as most goods are imported and denominated in US currency. Perhaps if one can buy a small piece of land and grow basic necessities like potatoes and vegetables then living costs can only come down and not go up as we have experienced over the years and months.