A 30 per cent increase in water prices is due to affect 75 per cent of households.
For the first time in 17 years, Singaporeans will see a hike in water prices.
On Monday (Feb 20), Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat delivered Singapore’s Budget 2017 speech in Parliament.
The speech ruffled more than a few tail feathers, especially since the financial measures announced included a 30 per cent increase in water prices.
What’s going on?
The increase in price is a measure introduced to combat water wastage and to reflect the rising cost of water in Singapore, a country with limited water reserves and supplies.
The 30 per cent increase will occur in two phases over the next two years, the first starting on Jul 1. 75 per cent of households can expect an increase of no more than $18 in their water bills. One-room or two-room flats will not see any increase in their bills.
Many Singaporeans had negative reactions to the news, especially those who feel they are already saving water.
Muhammad Fadhli, 25, thinks the increase is unfair and unnecessary.
Tan Hui Qi, a 20-year-old student, feels there are better ways to encourage citizens to save water.
She said: “Whenever the government wants to teach citizens something, they increase prices. This only makes people angry because we’re paying so much for everything already! If we take measures to educate citizens instead of taxing them further, it will be far more effective.”
There are Singaporeans, however, who feel the need to increase water prices is due to rising costs of producing safe, clean water for Singaporeans.
Similarly, 19-year-old Stanley Alonzo thinks that in the long run, the increase is necessary for Singapore’s future and development.
The polytechnic student said: “We cannot expect everything to remain cheap. The point is, it is still affordable. Our collective financial sacrifices are why Singapore is what it is today, a completely developed nation. To maintain this, we must accept that we have to continuously make sacrifices.”
What’s your take?
1. Will you cut down on your water usage since the water prices are increasing?
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