Singapore Budget 2022: 4 Small Sacrifices You Can Make To Defray The Upcoming GST Hike

Kendra Tan

Kendra Tan

Last updated 18 February, 2022

It was announced at the Singapore Budget 2022 earlier today (18 February 2022) that the GST (goods and services tax) will be raised from 7% to 9% between 2023 to 2024. Here are four small steps you can take to lighten the load on your wallet. 

The dreaded GST hike is finally happening… next year.  

In case you weren’t aware, Singapore’s GST hike is set to take place in two stages — in 2023 and 2024. The first increase will take place on 1 January 2023, from 7 percent to 8 percent while the second increase will happen on 1 January 2024, from 8 percent to 9 percent.

GST to be absorbed in certain sectors

​​The good news is that GST on publicly-subsidised healthcare and education will continue to be absorbed by the Government, while Town Councils will receive an additional S$15 million per year to absorb the GST payable on Service and Conservancy charges.

There will also be no increase in government fees and charges for one year from 1 January 2023, including licence fees and fees charged by government agencies for the provision of services.

Simple hacks you can do in order to defray some GST cost

Let’s be real — Nobody likes paying the dreaded GST and Service Charge even if they’re necessary for the greater good. Lucky for you, we have a few tricks up our sleeves. 

#1 Cut down on your cafe/coffee habits

Each time you dine out at a cafe or restaurant, you’ll most definitely be charged GST. Instead of cafe hopping or going on a coffee run (read about how much your coffee habit can actually cost you), consider a hawker hunt instead. Our hawkers are amazing, cheap, and don’t charge that dreadful fee. Besides, you can also use your CDC vouchers to offset your bill! 

#2 Order two vegetables, one meat instead of two meat and one vegetable when you get economic rice

Not only is it cheaper, it will also be healthier for you! Better still, do your own meal prep — budget and plan ahead to keep your food expenses even lower. Which brings us to our next point…

#3 Avoid brand name products, go for house brand instead

Our favourite choices for supermarket house brands are: 

  • Meadows (Cold Storage)
  • Happy Family (Sheng Shiong) 

Tried and tested, house brands are actually pretty good quality and help you save money at the same time. We’d recommend Meadow’s truffle chips (S$1), Meadow’s 1.5L distilled water (S$0.60), Happy Family’s instant noodles (S$2.40 for a pack of 10) as well as Happy Family’s Premium Short Grain Rice (S$8.50 for 5kg).

#4 Cut down on overseas imports, stack vouchers when you shop online

Despite the government announcing that GST will be imposed on all imported goods purchased online from 2023 onwards, some online retailers have started imposing these charges. 

One way to avoid paying more than you need to is to shop at online stores that are based in Singapore. That way, you don’t have to pay extra for GST and shipping, especially when you buy an item on Taobao.

When you check out, don’t forget to use promo codes as well as Shopback to save even more money. 

Bonus tip: Use a cashback credit card when you dine out 

Another way you can defray the GST hike is by using a cashback credit card. 

Before your next makan session, take a look at the credit cards you’ll be bringing. Do you have the ‘right’ credit card for the task? One of our favourite cashback cards is UOB One

UOB One Card is a versatile cashback credit card that allows you to earn up to 5% cash rebate on literally everything you purchase. Plus, another 5% cash rebate on Shopee, Grab services, Dairy Farm Group merchants (e.g. Cold Storage, Giant, Guardian, 7-Eleven), and UOB Travel Planner transactions (i.e. a total of up to 10%). 

Its cashback is tiered — you’ll earn 5% cash rebate if you spend S$2,000 per statement month for each qualifying quarter (i.e. S$300 cash rebate per quarter) and 3.33% cash rebate if you spend S$1,000 or S$500 per statement month for each qualifying quarter (i.e. S$100 and S$50 cash rebate per quarter). 

Additionally, the extra 5% cash rebate you can earn on Shopee, Dairy Farm Singapore, Grab and UOB Travel is generously capped at S$100 per month! If you drive, be sure to pump at SPC as this card lets you save up to 24%.

That’s not all. You’ll enjoy up to 2.5% p.a. interest on your UOB One savings account as you spend on your UOB One Card. 

Maximum cashback: S$300 x 4 = S$1,200

Bonus maximum cashback: S$100 x 12 = S$1,200 

Welcome Offer: Receive S$150 cashback if you are among the first 100 new-to-UOB cardmembers to make a min. spend of S$1,500 within 30 days of card approval. Valid till 28 Feb 2022. T&Cs apply.

Read these next:
Singapore Budget 2022: Key Highlights And Summary
Singapore Budget 2022: GST Hike — Increase in GST And Packages To Offload The Financial Burden
Singapore Budget 2022: The 6 Big Impacts That Will Affect Singaporeans

Avid promo code hunter and haggler. Kendra doesn’t like paying full price for anything. She’s the best person to bring along if you’re travelling on a budget. Have an interesting story to tell? E-mail her at


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