No rise in govt fees for one year


  • AseanPlus News
  • Saturday, 02 Dec 2006

ALL government fees will stay frozen and not be raised for one year when the goods and services tax (GST) goes up from 5% to 7%. 

Making the pledge last night, Second Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam also promised that the offset package to cushion the impact of the tax hike will leave the lower-income group better off than before. The middle-income group will also get help and “should not be badly done by.” 

“They sometimes feel left out, so we’ll make sure that the offset package has something for them,” said Tharman, who is due to unveil the package on Feb 15, Budget Day. 

He announced the freeze on government fee increases at a televised forum, when responding to concerns that the GST hike seemed to be coming on the back of other fee increases. 

The freeze on fees will cover, among other things, HDB car park fees, passport and birth certificate costs and TV and radio licence fees.  

Tharman said that the increase in GST was part of a larger effort to raise revenue and boost government spending to invest in the future. – Straits Times / Asia News Network  

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