Eight PAP town councils to raise service and conservancy charges from 1 April

A cleaner in a residential estate in Singapore. (AFP file photo)

Service and conservancy (S&CC) charges will be going up at eight People's Action Party (PAP)-led town councils from 1 April onwards.

The hike, which will take place over two years, is between S$1 and S$15 a month, depending on flat type. It's expected to affect about half a million households in Singapore.

Owners of one and two-room flats will see fees go up by $1 and $1.50 per month respectively, but dwellers of three-room flats and larger will see higher increments of between $4.50 and $10.50 per month by 1 April next year.

The increase will be done in two stages, announced the Sembawang Town Council on behalf of the other seven — Ang Mo Kio, Marine Parade, Moulmein-Kallang, Nee Soon, Pasir Ris-Punggol, Potong Pasir and Jurong (which previously already raised its fees in 2010). The first increase will take place on 1 April this year, and the next a year afterward.

See a breakdown of the rates for Singapore citizens who do not own private property here:

In its announcement, Sembawang Town Council said S&CC charges have remained the same for the last decade at the seven People’s Action Party-run town councils apart from Jurong. It cited rising costs in electricity, lift maintenance and other operations and maintenance.

“We will continue to monitor our expenditure carefully and explore new cost-saving measures… to conserve energy and to leverage on bulk procurements to enjoy greater economies of scale,” the statement said.

The release added also that rebates will be given to help residents cope with the increase, with owners of executive flats getting one month, five-room households getting one and a half months, three- and four-room owners receiving two and one- and two-room flat households receiving three months in rebates respectively.

Asked why it is increasing S&CC despite its healthy surpluses, the town council said in a prepared response that “such surpluses have been in the decline over the years”, noting that with its rising maintenance and operation costs, they will "not be able to sustain their operations without incurring operating deficits”.

The Straits Times previously reported that the recent requirement for a minimum pay for cleaners was unlikely to directly result in an increase in S&CC charges.

For more information on the new rates at these seven town councils, click here.