Mr Yip Hon Weng: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (a) whether the Committee Against Profiteering (CAP) takes concrete enforcement 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; (b) if so, what follow-up enforcement actions will be taken to ensure that offending businesses that repeatedly gets flagged out for unjustified increases comply with guidelines on pricing practices; and (c) whether CAP intends to release the names of these offending businesses.
Written Answer by Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong
1. The role of the Committee Against Profiteering (CAP) is to review and investigate feedback on unjustified increases in the prices of essential products and services using the GST increase as an excuse. The CAP will review all feedback received and if there are grounds to suspect profiteering using the GST increase as an excuse, the CAP will engage the business involved to address the issues. The CAP may make public errant businesses that seek to profiteer on the pretext of the rise in GST.
2. The CAP received and reviewed about 100 feedback submissions between April to July 2022, of which five involved specific allegations of GST misrepresentation. The CAP followed up swiftly, especially for the five cases, 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.