Duty hike in beer set at only 40 cents, but Punggol Kopitiam outlet charges double for some brands

The increase in the prices of beer sold at a Kopitiam outlet in Punggol has riled Stomp contributor Andrew, who feels the management there are attempting to make a profit from a recent increase in alcohol duty.

In his report, Stomp contributor Andrew wrote:

"The 'Tiger lady' showed me the increase in prices of the various beers and stouts at the Kopitiam outlet at Block 108 in Punggol Field.

"The price increase shows clearly some sort of profiteering as the government has already announced that the price increase should only be 20 to 40 cents at most even if the entire increase in duties is passed on to consumers."

Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam recently announced in his Budget statement last Friday (Feb 21) that liquor tax has been raised by 25 per cent, to $60 per litre of alcohol content for beer and $88 per litre of alcohol content for wine and spirits, reported The Straits Times.

However, an assesment by the Ministry of Finance, as reported on AsiaOne, revealed that even if the additional duty is fully passed on to consumers, the price of a typical can of beer (323ml) should only go up by about 20 cents, while a typical bottle of beer (663ml) should go up by only about 40 cents at coffeeshop.

The Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry, Mr Lee Yi Shyan, also said that sellers should not take advantage of this duty hike to "raise prices unreasonably".

"Consumers should exercise their rights to walk away from merchants pricing alcohol unreasonably," he added.

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