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June 22, 2008

Singapore minister: No petrol tax reduction ahead
Singapore cannot reduce petrol taxes despite the soaring oil prices, according to National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan, who warned against taking the subsidy route, reported Channel News Asia.

He noted that even countries like China and Malaysia have started to re-think their policies on this.

As pump prices in the city state continue to rise, some Singaporeans are wondering why the government is not stepping in to cushion the impact by cutting petrol taxes.

The government has always maintained that petrol duty - currently about 40 cents for every litre - is meant to promote public transport and curb excessive use of cars.

Instead of lowering taxes, the minister said Singapore's strategy is to change habits and attitudes to cut down on energy consumption.

"If you are a motorist, how do you cut down (energy consumption)? Reduce the number of trips, if possible. Car pool, if possible. Better still, take public transport," he said.


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