Seven PAP town councils to increase S&C charges

Municipal charges will go up in HDB estates managed by seven People's Action Party town councils from Sept 1.

The increase will affect residents in Bishan-Toa Payoh, Chua Chu Kang, EastCoast, Holland-Bukit Panjang, Tanjong Pagar, Tampines and West Coast. It is the first hike in service and conservancy (S&C) charges in these towns since 2004.

The increase will be phased in gradually to help residents cope, the town councils said yesterday. In the first stage, starting September, the S&C charges will be raised by between 50 cents and $6.50 a month, depending on flat type.

In the second stage, fees will go up further by between 50 cents and $5.50 a month, one year later.

The town councils said inflation had led to the increase, but they would continue to do their utmost to rein incosts.

The North East Community Development Council said beneficiaries of its social assistance schemes from Tampines GRC will get a subsidy to help offset the increase in charges for a period of six months.

Mr Teo Ser Luck, Mayor of North East District, said: "Expenditure constitutes a big part of a low income family's finances and it can be a challenge to cope with increased expenses.

"We will do what we can to help these families cope with the increase. For the heartland merchants, business advisers... will help them tap on the schemes to help them to cope with higher operating costs.

"We will try to help as many of those affected as possible."

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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