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Water, a precious resource from the first drop

23 Aug 2011

I refer to Mr Chin Kee Thou's letter "Peg conservation tax rate to usage" (The New Paper, Aug 10).

The Water Conservation Tax (WCT) is levied from the very first drop of water consumed as water is a precious resource. At the same time, the WCT is tiered, so that those who consume less also pay less.

Mr Chin proposed that the WCT be waived for consumption at or below subsistence level to encourage consumers to use water sparingly and to lighten the burden on low-usage households. While some households do indeed use less water, they may not be low-income. We fully recognise the difficulties that lower-income families may face with their household expenses, including utilities bills. The government provides Utilities-Save rebates to these families to help them cope. Needy families can also approach their Community Development Councils for further help.  This is a more targeted approach that ensures that families in need get help, while encouraging Singaporeans to conserve water.

Lim Bee Khim (Ms)
Director, Corporate Communications
Ministry of Finance