Costlier school items

Kota Kinabalu: Parents in a random Daily Express survey complained of costlier back-to-school items for their children.

Some said the hike was as much as 100 per cent for some necessities.

Hamriah Nurdin, 44, a school teacher, said she experienced a big increase in the prices of school items this year compared to last year.

She said there was an increase of about 30 per cent, such as for shoes of the same brand, from RM21.90 to RM27, adding that the prices of school bags had increased the most.

“The prices of school bags have gone up from around RM40 to RM79, which is a big burden to many who have school-going children.

“Even erasers that used to cost around 50 sen each can cost RM2.50 now,” she said, adding that she had no choice but to tighten her budget for school supplies this year.

Pathmanathan A/L Krishnan Nair, 51, attributed the increase in the prices to Government Service Tax (GST).

The father of five said the prices had gone up by about five to 10 per cent this year because of the GST, which caused him to be more prudent in his spending.

“Last time I would buy two sets of school uniform for my daughter but now I only buy one.

In fact, she has been wearing the same uniform for three years.

“According to my calculation, I spend about RM2,000 on GST annually. This is a huge burden to not just me but many others, especially those in the medium and lower income group.

“If GST is only applicable to limited businesses, it would greatly benefit the people.

As a Malaysian, we want to fully support the Government but they need to consider the people’s problems also,” said the plantation estate manager.

Adela Gunting, 48, said she needs to pay a lot of schooling expenses for her children.

The mother of two sons said these include for sports clothes, books, necktie, food and even calculator.

Adela, who works as a cashier, said her son, who will be entering secondary school this year, would be re-using his school uniform and shoes due to the increase in the prices.

“The prices have gone up and even shops that used to sell at lower price have increased.

Although we receive monetary aid of around RM200 per year, it is not consistent as we only receive it in certain years,” she said.

Chin Chun Kian, 47, a businessman, said he would also reuse school uniform and shoes if they were in good condition as the price of everything has increased now.

Chin, who has two children in preschool and Fourth Grade, said he has been more careful in his spending because of the price hike.

“There is not just increase in the prices of school items but also many other items,” he said.

by Jegathisan Sivanesan.

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