SDP calls on PAP to scrap plans to hike GST to 9 percent, now is not the time

With the spread of the novel coronavirus, the SDP calls on Singaporeans to come together to help contain the virus by heeding public health warnings and advice.

We acknowledge and appreciate the hard work of public health experts and recognise that this will be a trying few weeks ahead for all of us.

This is also an added reason why the SDP is calling on the PAP not to raise the GST after the next elections as announced. Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat has said that he will lay out GST support measures in his Budget statement next Tuesday, 18 February.

Our economy will take a hit as global trade and commerce is negatively affected by the virus outbreak.

The government says that it anticipates business and consumer confidence to be affected in the future as the situation is expected to last for some time.

This being the case, it would help Singaporeans if they did not have to pay more GST and other taxes which will crimp spending. Going forward, Singaporeans will need extra cash in their pockets to tide over the uncertain economic period. Businesses will also be helped if consumer confidence is boosted.

It is clear that the planned GST hike will not help consumers and businesses alike.

There was already little justification for the government to increase the GST before the coronavirus outbreak. Now with the adverse economic conditions ahead, it is all the more inconceivable for the PAP to proceed with its plans to increase the GST to 9 percent.

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