5 recent complaints against businesses alleged GST misrepresentation: Gan Kim Yong

There were no repeat complaints after the feedback about these businesses were addressed, Gan wrote.

Matthias Ang | August 03, 2022, 01:30 PM

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Between April and July 2022, the Committee Against Profiteering (CAP) received 100 feedback submissions regarding unjustified increases in the prices of essential products and services.

Five of these specifically involved allegations of GST misrepresentation, Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong said in a written reply in Parliament on Aug. 2.

No repeat complaints after CAP's involvement

He was responding to a question posed by Member of Parliament Yip Hon Weng about whether CAP takes concrete actions against businesses that are found to have made unjustified price increases for essential goods and services using the impending GST increase as an excuse.

Gan said that CAP responded to the cases "swiftly", especially for the five cases, by working with partner agencies and organisations including the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS), the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) and the People's Association (PA).

"The businesses committed to be transparent on their pricing and in their communications with consumers. There have so far been no repeat complaints," Gan wrote.

CAP set up to investigate feedback on unjustified cases of price increases

Gan further highlighted that the CAP had been established to deal with unjustified increases done under the pretext of the impending GST hike.

The committee will review all feedback received, he added, and if there are grounds to suspect profiteering using this excuse, the CAP will engage the business involved to address the issues.

In addition, the CAP may also make public errant businesses engaging in such practices, Gan added.

Gan also answered another question from Workers' Party MP Jamus Lim, who asked how many complaints on alleged price hikes and potential anti-competitive behaviour the CCCS receives annually, and how many investigations on potential anti-competitive behaviour CCCS initiated.

He revealed that from 2018 to 2021, CCCS received an average of about 200 complaints on alleged anti-competitive behaviour annually.

From its own surveillance, CCCS also launched 15 investigations and market studies into potential anti-competitive behaviours.

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