5 Things Kakak Want to Tell You about the (Upcoming) GST Hike


Hello my adik-adik and friends. Lately I feeling so stress you know? Because when I go market now, I always end up spending a lot. In the past, I can buy so many things with $50… veggies, chicken. fish and a bit of beef and mutton.

Prawn, crab and sotong I do alternate weeks lah. Cannot take so much, need to maintain my cholesterol you know?

When I see my freezer all full, then my heart also full. Feel happy lah.  Every day I do three or four different dishes for lunch because my children and husband, now WFH. Then for dinner I will just cook simple-simple…usually one veggie and one meat dish.

But now, I realize cannot already. Like this one shop, I go to. I used to be able to get at least 5 onions for $2, now only can get 3. Then, when I buy chicken, I see the chicken parts like all shrink liao, but the price is about the same. How can like that?

My Abang also complain his petrol price now go up by $20 or $30. He said he see the numbers on the petrol screen move so fast, his heart also beat very fast.

Last few weeks, I keep reading about the government wanting to raise GST. Wah…. I also feel my blood pressure go up. Especially after I see all the messages my friends put in our chat groups…they forward me some articles and FB posts. My friend sent me a photo, there was a sign at a stall- price will go up by 300%!

My son Zikri was at home with me that day, because he just had his booster shot. So I showed him that message and said, habislah. Every time, this GST increase. Soon, I can only cook for you all instant noodles or nasi goreng every day.

But my son Zikri told me to chill. That I shouldn’t believe all these messages. Some people just want to make drama only.

So today Kakak want to share with you, 5 things my son say about this GST hike.

Actually this GST is for what?

Zikri said the GST is a broad-based tax paid on goods or services consumed domestically, including imports. It was first introduced in Singapore in 1994. Back then, only 3%.

“Singapore calls it GST, but in other countries, it’s known as value-added tax or VAT. So with this additional revenue collected from GST, our own income tax and other taxes like for property and income from business can be kept low.”

“Did you know GST has, on average, contributed more than one-fifth of the total tax revenue collected by the Government over the past five years? And if our consumption patterns remain the same, this GST increase would add more than $3 billion a year to Singapore’s reserves.”

Oh yahhhh… the news got say last two years, government took out money from the reserves and gave us because of COVID right?

“That’s why la Ibu. The last two years, government has drawn $53.7 billion from the reserves, so need to rebuild public finances. Our government is required to balance the budget by 2025. It’s a constitutional requirement you know…don’t main-main. Also, don’t forget our population all getting older. Government needs to spend on social and healthcare spending.”

So then Kakak calm down a bit and think, think, think, but still a bit too much la until increase price more than 300% kan? Then we eat what? Grass ah?


“Even if GST goes up, we will still manage”

Right now, Singapore’s GST of 7% makes us among the world’s lowest.  And even if increase, it will go up by 2 points… become 9%. In Asia, the average rate is 12%, which means our GST rate will still be lower. In 2021, the global standard rate is 19%. In the UK it is 20%!

“The last time GST was raised was in 2007. Before that was 2003 and 2004 – each time by one percentage point. So how can you say always increase? Also, you tell your Zumba friends don’t anyhow spread fake news la. Like makcik kaypoh.

So when he said like that of course I cannot take it lah. I mean, this boy what does he know right? He just go work, then night class, play football then come back eat and sleep. I told him about my onion and chicken story.

Everything also got price increase, then this GST cannot wait is it?

“But Ibu, there’s never a good time for a tax increase. Singapore is experiencing economic growth. More people are spending now compared to back when COVID first started.”

Zikri then reminded me about the money the government started giving in 2020. He said it’s part of the Assurance Package, where all adult Singaporeans will receive a cash payout of between S$700 and S$1,600 over five years.

Ohh yahhh….. I remember now. I thought that time my Abang, so good…want to surprise me with extra allowance, but actually that money from the government.

Zikri said the Assurance Package will offset at least 5 years of extra GST expenses for most of us, and 10 years’ worth for those living in one to three room HDB flats.

Then I thought of my BFF, Nora. She so kesian because her husband passed away last year, then her son still in poly and her mother got dementia.

So does that mean Nora get more?

“Yahlah, because Cik Nora stays in two-room flat, then she’s the only one working after her husband passed away last year, right? In fact, I think she also qualify for GST voucher, so she gets cash and U-Save. Then when she turns 65, she will also get Medisave top-up.”

Zikri added, “government won’t suka-suka increase GST because the impact will be felt especially for those from lower-income households. That’s why Government has continued to fully absorb GST publicly subsidized education and healthcare.”

“Ibu, you know why prices of things have increased? Singapore experienced an inflation rate of 3.8% in November 2021 and did you know that a moderate amount of inflation is generally considered to be a sign of a healthy economy. So you’re right… many things are more expensive now and this may continue. We can’t do anything to stop it but we can learn to manage our money and make wiser choices about what we spend on to beat inflation.”

Kakak thinks Zikri is right. So, maybe I need to make some changes la for this family.

First I will do a meal plan first for the family then, don’t just buy everything. I will also cut down on the variety I cook every day but increase the portion so they can eat for lunch and dinner. Actually not a bad idea also lah. Sometimes I stand so long in the kitchen, but they eat very little. So geram you know?

Sure Boh?

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