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Landlords who do not pass on savings from tax rebates to tenants 'very short-sighted': Chan Chun Sing

SINGAPORE — Landlords who do not pass on the savings from tax rebates to their tenants are being “very short-sighted”, said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing on Tuesday (March 3).

Landlords who do not pass on savings from tax rebates to tenants 'very short-sighted': Chan Chun Sing

Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing speaking to the media on Feb 14, 2020.

SINGAPORE — Landlords who do not pass on the savings from tax rebates to their tenants are being “very short-sighted”, said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing on Tuesday (March 3).

Mr Chan’s comments, made in Parliament during a debate on the Ministry of Trade and Industry’s budget, came a day after the Restaurant Association of Singapore (RAS) released a statement expressing their "deep disappointment" at several landlords who have not fulfilled their promises of offering rental rebates to their tenants after receiving tax relief from Budget 2020.

Mr Chan was responding to a question from Holland-Bukit Timah GRC Member of Parliament Liang Eng Hwa, who chairs the Government Parliamentary Committee for Trade and Industry. Mr Liang had asked whether the Government would take any measures against landlords who are not heeding the authorities’ call to pass on these savings to their tenants.

“It would be very short-sighted for landlords to try to stinge and save a bit here and there instead of passing on some of the benefits to the tenants,” said Mr Chan, adding that the Government is aware that there are “some issues” between retailers and landlords on this front.

“Let me just say this: We are all in this together. The whole Singapore economy depends on businesses, the landlords, the retailers, everyone working together," he said. “And I will say this to the landlords: The relationship between the landlord and the tenant is a long-term relationship. When the tenants do well, the landlords do well. When the landlords do well, they need to share it with the tenants. Only so, can we continue to do well as one team Singapore.”

Singapore is “not that big an economy”, he added. “I think every one of us will have long memories of those who have come forward to do their part for their business partner in this difficult moment, and those that have taken a very short-term perspective to this.”

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced during his Budget speech last month that some commercial property owners will get a 15 per cent tax rebate as part of a package to help businesses tide through the economic slowdown brought about by the Covid-19 outbreak. Mr Heng had urged landlord to pass on these savings to their tenants.

Mr Chan applauded the actions of some landlords, who have taken into account slower business during this period and “gone out of their way” to help their tenants.

But he noted that there are others who are “still taking a bit of time to roll out their packages”.

Mr Chan said officers from Enterprise Singapore have been working over the past week to try and get landlords and tenants to come to terms with one another, and will continue to arbitrate.

“I would like to urge all the major landlords to do our part together to help each other get through this difficult moment,” he reiterated.

Mr Chan also noted that not all tenants are affected by the downturn to the same degree, and that more help should be given to those who have been more severely affected.

Related topics

Chan Chun Sing Enterprise Singapore landlord tax rebate MTI tenant rental

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