Fans, proprietors hit by double price hike whammy

Fans, proprietors hit by double price hike whammy
GOOD TIMES: Patrons at the Food Republic Beer Garden at the St. James Power Station watching the Euro 2012 football matches.

He loves to chill with a beer at his neighbourhood coffee shop in Clementi after dinner, sometimes alone and other times with friends.

But since the sin tax hike last month, when duties on liquor went up by 25 per cent, Mr Foong Kar Chuan has been paying 50 cents more for each bottle of 633ml Tiger Beer.

The part-time delivery man, 50, who earns about $400 a month, says he is feeling the pinch.

Mr Foong said in Mandarin: "My wife tells me to stop drinking so we can save some money, but how to?

" Except when I am unwell or on holidays, this has been my routine every Saturday and Sunday for the past four years."

Mr Tan Lai Chuen, 60, who is unemployed, is a familiar face at a coffee shop in Pasir Ris. He told The New Paper that he likes "a bottle or two of beer every night".

"We chit-chat about current events or how our families are," he said.

"Since the price hike, four of our friends have cut down on these sessions to save some money. So now, there are just three of us. Really 'mei yi si' (boring in Mandarin)."

Sales executive Branson Ang, 40, said he is even more peeved after reading news reports that he will have to spend more money when the World Cup in Brazil kicks off on June 12.

The avid football fan, who is not a SingTel subscriber, said he had accumulated his annual leave for use in June.

"It's a double whammy for me - the price hikes for both beer and World Cup package," he said.

"Most of us enjoy having a beer with peanuts or some light snacks while watching the matches. The price hikes are really ridiculous."

Mr Ang is among 50 people randomly polled in the heartlands of Pasir Ris, Tampines, Bedok, Clementi, Bukit Batok and Toa Payoh last week, after SingTel announced that it had secured exclusive rights to football's biggest event.

Forty-two of them baulked at the package price, which is nearly 60 per cent more than the $66 paid by early-bird subscribers for the 2010 World Cup.

SingTel's World Cup 2014 package will cost fans $105 ($112.35 after GST), but it is free for those who sign a two-year contract for its English Premier League broadcasts.

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