Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Singapore - expensive city

Usually I wasn’t really paying attention into what they mentioned in the budget review every beginning of the year. But this year, I had to know about the following changes made as it affected not only related to my work, but also to my personal interest.

Picture source:

“The so-called "sin" taxes on tobacco, alcohol and gambling are going up, with alcohol taking the biggest hit. Excise duties for all types of liquor will rise by 25 per cent, while cigarette and manufactured tobacco levies will go up by 10 per cent.”Straits Times – dated on 21st Feb 2014

I’m not smoker and not an alcoholic either, but I do drink alcohol occasionally and my hubby smokes. When I first knew about the increased in the duty revision of the alcohol and tobacco, I was maddened and infuriated. I called up my friends who were a smoker and drinker, asking his opinion about it.

He said, “It’s ok. Why?”

“You didn’t get mad for the increase?” I asked him.

“No lah. It’s ok what.”

“But you are a smoker, you know?” I asked him again, kind of unbelievable with his answer, seemed like nothing affected him at all, “and a drinker too,” I continued.

“If the increase was done to bring down the alcoholic and smoking problem, it was ok. But when they increase the price of the transport, like bus and MRT, which will be coming soon in April, then it’s not ok,” explained him.

Hm…. He was true lah. But no matter what, those increments were still upsetting me, apart that I would have to do more costing job – an overall beverage cost changes and selling price that have to be adjusted due to it. 

In fact, I realized that when the price of the alcohol was too cheap, it would make people wanting to drink more, as they thought they could get it so easily. It would affect their health problem too in the future. Not yet accident cases related to drink-driving that killed many people at all ages?? Same thing applies with tobacco products. However, as a smoker, no matter how much the price went up, they would still buy it and perhaps it would affect only few who decided to smoke less.

Fyi, a can of local beer 330ml is sold at S$2.70 each while the 500 ml can is sold at $4.40 (at local supermarket). So, convert it to your currency and imagine how expensive it is. And a pack of cigarette is sold over S$12.50 per packet of 20 pcs. Go and figure out why I found it ridiculous with such a high price for those items sold here.

Seeing me so furious, my colleague asked me to go back to Bhutan so that I could enjoy a cheap beer over there. Another one even advised me to migrate there hahaha…

With the duty revision on the price of the alcohol, it also meant that alcohol beverages would be sold with higher selling price everywhere, e.g. restaurant, bar, coffee shop, or even supermarket. I guess it’s time for me to reduce the intake to the max and would only enjoy more while traveling to other countries. Haiz… But it’s good too, because the money saved here can be used to buy more in another country lolx….

Picture source: Birmingham Public Library

And just a day ago, BBC News announced that “Singapore was named the world’s most expensive city”. 

“Singapore has topped 131 cities globally to become the world's most expensive city to live in 2014, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). The city's strong currency combined with the high cost of running a car and soaring utility bills contributed to Singapore topping the list. It is also the most expensive place in the world to buy clothes.”

It wasn’t surprising for us as just five days ago, government announced that 8 town councils to increase Service & Conservancy Charges (S&CC) – the maintenance fee to upkeep the facilities for flats, shops/offices and market/cooked food stalls with effect of 1st April. It affected us too as we stayed in HDB flat.  On that announcement day, we received letter that our current S&CC charges of S$56.50, would be increased to $59 this April, then to $61.50 next year April.

So, with everything increased and became the world’s costliest country to live in, I could only hope that our salary would increase much too this year…. Hope for the best a.k.a. resigned to fate!!!


Sonam Tenzin said...

Singapore indeed should be one expensive city, developed and far advanced that it is.

Rima Reyka said...

Indeed Sonam. That's the price that we have to pay over here. Nothing is perfect and we can only follow their decision.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, It is almost same in here.. Cigarette is very expensive but the smokers still buy it. Beer is $3 over and the drinkers still getting drunk. Most of clubs get entrance fee. But wine is relatively cheap.
Do you know the cost of public transport here? $11-14 per day depends on the distance. and they have weekend saver increase from $3,5 now is $6 for saturday and sunday flatrate. That's why eventhough the patrol fee is high but the public transport did not run well. Mostly delay and sometime they cancel the journey.
Food is more expensive here too compare Spore. One meal at least $8-9.
Thats why I eat so much in Spore and Indo... it is expensive but nothing compare here..

Rima Reyka said...

Hehe... but I think the salary range there is definitely much higher than here. But anyway, like I said, nothing is perfect. We just have to keep living and carry on with our life. Live it to the fullest accordingly.

Btw, so you know why I keep delaying my visit to Melbourne? ;)

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