Tuesday, November 12

Pros, cons of reduction of fuel and sugar subsidies

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SIBU: The public here saw the flip side of the subsidy reduction for fuel and sugar as an opportunity to save up and stay healthy.

A retail outlet manager, Nicole Tiong, said the fact that sugar cost more now would mean the reduction of its consumption.

“We need to view things in a more holistic manner and that includes viewing beyond the disadvantages or negativities.

“Therefore, when I cut down on sugar intake, I will be healthier and, of course, squeeze out some savings in the process,” she told thesundaypost yesterday when asked about the impact of higher prices of fuel and sugar.

According to Bernama, the government on Friday announced a reduction in subsidies of five sen per litre for RON 95 petrol and diesel, five sen per kilogramme for LPG and 20 sen per kilogramme for sugar effective yesterday.

Tiong said among other things she would she cut down on travelling to save up for rainy days.

Another member of the public, identified only as George when met at Sarawak ICT Expo 2010 (II) believed, however, that the lower income group might be hard pressed by the subsidy rationalisation.

He said daily paid workers such as those in the construction industry already hard pressed to make ends meet would be tearing their hair out to adjust to the new economic reality.

While he concurred that taking less sugar is good for the health, George figured workers in the lower income bracket would need to find ways to reduce their expenses.

Echoing Tiong’s optimism, a retailer, Angy Ng, was confident that the subsidy rationalisation would not spur people to shop less.

Ng said: “For fashion lovers, dressing up is their bread and butter. In fact, I got feedback from my customers that they see no reason to cut down their spending on clothes or other fashion wear.”

They might cut down on their mobile phones reloads, reduce dining in restaurants but certainly not on fashion, he said in a jest.