Mr Saktiandi Supaat: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry given the announcement that the GST hike will proceed as scheduled (a) whether there is an increase in the number of complaints received on businesses encouraging customers to make advance, leveraged purchases to lock in the 7% GST rate; and (b) whether the Government intends to regulate such practices, for example by mandating a cooling-off period during which consumers may cancel their orders without penalty.
Written Answer by Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong
1. Agencies and the Consumers of Association of Singapore (CASE) have not received any complaints of businesses taking advantage of the GST increase to encourage customers to make advanced leveraged purchases beyond their means. Furthermore, payment and delivery schedules are commercial and personal decisions that are best left to businesses and their customers who know best what their needs are. MTI does not intend to impose any new regulations, such as a cooling-off period.
2. The Government has engaged major retailers that offer in-house credit schemes to encourage them to improve their business practices, such as enhancing their transparency standards and the disclosure of their terms and conditions, employing responsible marketing practices, and incorporating credit bureau reports as part of their credit assessment. MTI and agencies will continue to keep a close watch on market practices.