January 2023 / Singapore

January 2 2023

Audits will be conducted to ensure compliance with GST rate change rules

The Government recognises that businesses may adjust prices due to factors such as increase in operating costs including wages, utilities, rental and materials. While the Government does not regulate the pricing decisions of individual businesses, it is not acceptable for businesses to use the GST increase as the pretext for any increase in prices beyond the GST rate change. Where there is a need to raise prices, businesses should be transparent in communicating the actual reasons for the price increases to consumers, and not misrepresent the situation by attributing the price increases primarily or solely to the GST increase.

The Government has been working with industry stakeholders on initiatives such as the Price Kaki mobile app to raise awareness on price transparency and facilitate price comparisons. Price Kaki allows consumers to compare prices of over 10,000 items sold at supermarkets and 37,000 cooked items sold at food courts, hawker centres and coffee shops, and is a useful resource for consumers to get the best deals or a basic pricing benchmark. We urge consumers to do such price comparisons when making purchasing decisions.

To ensure that businesses comply with GST regulations relating to rate change, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) will conduct audits to check that the correct GST rate is applied and that GST-registered businesses display GST-inclusive prices. It will also look into consumers’ specific feedback on non-compliance with GST rate change rules.

The Committee Against Profiteering (CAP) takes a serious view when a business uses the GST increase as a cover to raise prices. If there are grounds to suspect profiteering on the pretext of the GST increase, the CAP will work with partners including the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore, People’s Association, and Consumers Association of Singapore, to engage the relevant businesses to find out the reasons for the price increases. The CAP will not hesitate to make public errant businesses. Members of the public can report such cases via the CAP’s online and offline channels.

Source: Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore

January 2 2023

New Progressive Wage Mark To Identify & Support Companies Paying Progressive Wages To Workers

Consumers and service buyers are now better able to identify and support companies that pay Progressive Wages to their lower-wage workers following the unveiling of the new Progressive Wage (PW) Mark. The PW Mark is an accreditation scheme that recognises such companies, which can then use the Mark to profile themselves as businesses that support better wages for lower-wage workers. This is part of a whole-of-society effort to uplift lower-wage workers. This scheme was recommended by the Tripartite Workgroup on Lower-Wage Workers in August 2021, and is administered by the Singapore Business Federation on behalf of the tripartite partners (Ministry of Manpower, National Trades Union Congress and Singapore National Employers Federation). The PW Mark was launched on January, 2nd by Mr Zaqy Mohamad, Senior Minister of State for Manpower, at a visit to Uniqlo, a PW Mark-accredited company.

PW Mark & PW Mark Plus

  • All employers who hire at least one local worker covered by Sectoral or Occupational Progressive Wages are eligible to apply for the PW Mark. To receive PW Mark accreditation, employers must (i) pay the relevant workers Progressive Wages, and (ii) pay all other local workers at least the Local Qualifying Salary.
  • Additionally, employers who go one step further in adopting the Tripartite Standard on Advancing Well-being of Lower-Wage Workers (TS-LWW) will be accredited with the PW Mark Plus. The TS-LWW outlines progressive practices that provide better support for our lower-wage workers in workplace safety and health, training and career development, and rest area provision. Please refer to the Annex for logos which accredited companies can use to display in their stores or websites.

PW Mark required for eligible Government suppliers

  • For new tenders called from 1 March 2023, the Government will require eligible suppliers and their subcontractors to be accredited with the PW Mark for the duration of the contract period. This requirement will extend to procurement done via quotations from 1 March 2024.

Application for PW Mark via GoBusiness

  • Employers who wish to apply for the PW Mark can do so through GoBusiness. Upon approval of accreditation, employers will be able to download a digital certificate that can be used to profile their companies to consumers. Since applications opened in December 2022, about 1,900 companies have been accredited with the PW Mark.

Whole-of-society effort to uplift lower-wage workers

  • We encourage employers to do their part by paying Progressive Wages and getting their companies accredited with the PW Mark. Consumers and service buyers can also contribute by supporting PW Mark-accredited companies. The list of accredited companies can be found at go.gov.sg/pwmarklist.
  • Tripartite partners are progressively implementing the expansion of Progressive Wages to cover more lower-wage workers. From 1 March 2023, the Food Services Progressive Wage Model (PWM) and Occupational Progressive Wages for Administrators and Drivers will take effect. The Waste Management PWM will also be implemented from 1 July 2023. To support employers as they adjust to the Progressive Wage requirements, the Government provides co-funding support through the Progressive Wage Credit Scheme.
  • These milestones are part of a broad range of Progressive Wage moves to refresh our social compact and help uplift our lower-wage workers.
Source: Government of Singapore - Ministry of Manpower