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High Food and Petrol prices solely due to external forces? - Accountability in the media

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  • Robert HO
    The Anti Neo-Democracy Theorist High Food and Petrol prices solely due to external forces? - Accountability in the media
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 13, 2008
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      High Food and Petrol prices solely due to external forces? - Accountability in the media

      February 12, 2008 · 3 Comments

      Quote of the day from Channelnewsasia article titled "Budget to mitigate high food prices and inflation":

      "These [the topics discussed on the Budget 2008 webstie] include high oil and food prices, caused by factors outside of Singapore's borders. "

      In the context of the article, the CNA article seemed to try to replicate exactly what the government wanted to them to say, without considering the larger picture at work. Most Singaporeans would probably understand that the hike in food prices could be attributed to both external and internal sources. Externally, it is true that both global fuel prices as well as food supply in Malaysia are factors in the rise and fall of petrol and food prices in Singapore. Yet, internal factors such as government policy and probable lack of strong bite from consumer advocacy groups play their parts too. The hike in GST from 5% to 7%, which is inherently regressive, has had an effect on the raising of prices of raw imported materials, from noodles to minced meat to vegetables. In addition, the rent of the foodcourt stalls might have increased due to the increase cost in providing air-condition, cable television and dish washing in the foodcourt due to the increase in GST. This means that your favorite fish ball noodles in the food court might have ramped up its prices to 3.50 dollars to 4 dollars due to the rise of GST, both directly and indirectly.

      For petrol, Shell Singapore website has clearly answered the question in their Q & A session

      "What taxes are applied to fuel?

      Petrol - Excise tax of 44cpl is applied on every litre of petrol. GST is applied to all fuels (petrol and diesel) as it is purchased at the retail station."

      It is just strange to me that CNA had to include this sentence at all, which gives a rather distorted picture of the rising food and petrol prices. Would the article be worse off without that sentence? It is very heartening that the government is going to assist Singaporeans with this rising food and petrol costs in the upcoming budget. But did Wong Mun Wai from CNA had to do this additional (seemingly unneeded) P-R work for the government?

      Categories: Accountability · Media

      Responses so far ↓

      • George // February 13, 2008 at 2:58 am

        So what's new?

        The double-standard, double -talk is nothing new with the govt.

        Do you recall the MOS, one of the new ones, actually took to task a kindergarten/nursery school for upping its prices beyond the 2% GST increase?

        Surely, the man in the street will know that a 2% rise in GST will increase the cost for practically EVERY sort of goods or services that an individual or an organisation, eg the kindergarten in question, needs. So the kindergarten increase in price is its increased cost + 2% more GST.
        Can Singaporeans believe leaders who could so blatantly lie to you without batting an eyelid?



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