Cost of cooked food must be kept affordable

In recent days, the government has been talking about the income gap between the rich and the poor in this small nation state of Singapore. I would extend it to include the lower middle class who feel the pains of rising costs of living also.

To live in Singapore, one has to contend with higher property prices, transport costs, food prices, health care costs and education costs. For the lower strata of the society, making ends meet can be a challenge with rising costs every year through inflation. From a statistical point of view, there were real wage growth every year, that is to say the wage growth can cover inflation for the year. This is a group level type of analysis using statistics. From an individual point of view, it could be a different type of picture. Each individual has different circumstances, for example he could be sick more often, has to eat out more, etc.

Have you noticed that cooked food costs had been rising? Since 2006, Food inflation index was up on average 2.6% every year. One pays more for the same bowl of Bak Chor Mee (minced meat noodle) when compared to 12 years ago. Same goes for chicken rice.

Affordable food is something to aim for by the policy makers. It is rare to come across food that is reasonable, like the $2.50 vegetarian rice (3 items + rice) I had eaten in a Toa Payoh coffee shop this afternoon. It is no wonder that this vegetarian stall had a long queue.

Would the policy makers be able to come up with ways to make cooked food affordable? This would help a great deal for people coping with costs of living in Singapore.

Copyright © 2018, limkimtong for Living Investment

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