So what is new anyway? When GST was revised to 7%, the parking charges at Paragon Shopping Mall took the existing S$3.15 (S$3.00 with 5% GST) and multiplied it by 7% or 2% – either way is not right anyway. It’s quite sickening when people cite GST to raise everything and I’d prefer that they attribute it to "operational costs", like how most of other organizations do it – blaming it on day-to-day expenses – inherently claiming that if they do not raise the charges, they will cease to function.

Apparently, besides the carpark operators, stall operators are also raising costs – like selling a packet of papadum for 70 cents, up 20 cents. Thankfully papadum is not my staple diet. =P

THAT trip to shop or run errands in Orchard Road is setting back motorists more in parking charges nowadays.

A Straits Times check of 20 malls on the shopping strip revealed that parking fees have gone up at 18 of them.

Just over a third of the 18 carparks are levying charges that are between 10 and 20 per cent more.

While the jump is bigger at some, there are also places where weekday, off-peak fees have stayed about the same.

The most expensive places to park are Tang Plaza or Wheelock Place, where leaving your car for three hours will cost $9 before 5pm on weekdays.

Prices are not uniformly high along Orchard Road. It is four times cheaper to park in Plaza Singapura, for instance. Three hours there costs just $2.25.

Tang Plaza is the only mall on the strip that charges by the minute, so motorists pay for the exact amount of usage.

At other carparks, the rates are calculated in blocks of between 15 minutes to an hour.

It can make a difference.

Housewife Ong Lee Lee, 55, for example, has found that she will be charged $3.50 for an hour and five minutes at Tang Plaza; if she parks at Ngee Ann City down the road for that length of time, she would be paying $3.84 for a block lasting an hour and a half.

Parking charges at most carparks rose with the upping of the Goods & Services Tax by two percentage points last year, say carpark operators.

But the jump has been by more than two percentage points – by a whopping 36 per cent in one instance.

Cairnhill Place takes the dubious honour as that carpark. Leaving your car there for three hours before 5pm on a weekday now costs $8, up from $5.90 just two years ago.

Back in 2002, the nondescript-looking carpark was the best-kept secret among motorists looking for lots in the heart of Orchard Road: It cost just $3 for three hours then.

Its operator, Wilson Parking, which runs 50 carparks islandwide, declined comment on the price increase.

Article obtained from on 9th March 2008

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