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Three days after the SDP launched our policy on tempering the cost of living in Singapore, the NTUC announces that it will freeze prices for 50 household products and reduce them for another 50 items from now until 30 June 2020.
This is the clearest sign yet that the PAP is feeling the heat of the SDP's policy where we proposed 10 measures to lower the cost of living for Singaporeans. (Read SDP launches 10-point plan to lower cost of living.)
The SDP celebrates the fact that Singaporeans will enjoy the freeze and reduction in prices announced by the NTUC, but we caution the public on the sincerity and genuineness of the PAP's latest move.
This is because of two important points:
One, this is an election year and the SDP has highlighted that we will campaign on PM Lee Hsien Loong's betrayal of his promise in GE 2015 to help keep the cost of living down.
Two, the offer extends only till 30 June next year by which time the GE will likely be over. It is clear that this is a gimmick to entice votes. After the elections, the PAP will continue to increase prices and hike the GST to 9%.
Singaporeans can see through the PAP's vote-getting manoeuvres like giving out bonuses, packages and, now, the NTUC price-freeze when the elections are coming. While these measures are populist one-time offers, price increases of everything from the water tax hike to the jacking up of the GST are permanent.
Singaporeans should take back the money from these packages but not feel obligated to support the PAP in the coming polls. After all, the money belongs to the people. The truth is that Government collected nearly $20 billion in budget surpluses in the last three years and is now using the funds to entice votes before elections.
Now that it is feeling the heat from the people's anger on the rising cost of living as well as from the SDP's proposals, the PAP is finally sitting up and paying attention.
But now is not the time to relax. The SDP has put the self-serving ministers and their greed on notice. We will keep up the pressure until the elections and beyond so that we can genuinely lower the cost of living for Singaporeans. We must not let up on the pressure now that we have them on the ropes.
We call on our fellow citizens to join us and support our concerted campaign to make life in Singapore affordable and better for all.
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