Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Thursday (2 March) that the 30 per cent increase in water prices should be seen in perspective.
In a Facebook post, Lee acknowledged that the issue has triggered “sharp reactions” from Singaporeans.
But as mentioned by Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli, Lee said that many households will get more U-Save rebates. For 1- and 2-room HDB households, they will not see any nett increase while for most other HDB flats, the nett increase will only be between $2 and $11 per month, Lee added.
The impact on businesses will also be mitigated – three quarters of them will see
water bills going up by less than a $1 per day, or $25 per month.
Lee said Masagos and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Chan Chun Sing, have explained why water is an existential issue for Singapore, and that the price increase is unavoidable.
Given that water will always be a “strategic resource”, Lee said, “In this situation, we have to price water properly. Then every time we turn on the tap, we are conscious of how precious each drop is.”
Lee noted that the last time that the government revised water prices was in 1997, which was “a long time ago”.
With the building of more NEWater and desalination plants, the cost of producing water has gone up and tariffs must rise, Lee said.
“I hope this public debate reminds us how important and valuable water is, and how we can all help to conserve water, so that we always have enough water in Singapore.”