MP Jamus Lim

Assoc Prof Jamus Jerome Lim asked the Minister for National Development (a) whether the Ministry tracks the average prices of cooked food sold in (i) mature estates (ii) non-mature estates (iii) older coffeeshops and (iv) newer coffeeshops; and (b) if so, whether there are any systemic differences between (i) mature estates and non-mature estates and (ii) older coffeeshops and newer coffeeshops.

Mr Desmond Lee: The prices of cooked food vary from establishment to establishment, depending on various factors such as competition, local residential catchment, as well as menu items and cost of production. Some stalls also offer a wide variety on their menu that cater to different budgets. 

To keep food prices at coffeeshops affordable, all HDB coffeeshops have been let out via Price-Quality tenders since September 2018. Under this approach, the Quality assessment includes aspects such as the availability of budget meals, good track record and community initiatives. Tenderers typically provide budget food options at every stall, and successful tenderers will need to propose lower prices for these options. Currently, prices for the budget meals under successful tenderers are around $3. HDB also monitors feedback on the performance of eating house operators. If there is persistent adverse feedback such as high food prices, high stall vacancies or disamenities to residents, HDB may decide not to renew their tenancy upon its expiry and where necessary, terminate the tenancy early.

HDB does not track the average price of food in our coffeeshops by (i) mature/non-mature estates and (ii) older/newer coffeeshops, but monitors the prices of cooked food at the national level through the monthly Consumer Price Index (CPI) compiled by the Department of Statistics. Data on average prices of common food items as well as indices for cooked food sold at hawker centres and food courts/coffeeshops are available at the Department’s website. These cover all such eating houses, and not just those under HDB. We seek to ensure that the market can provide a good range of affordable food options in our heartlands and will continue to review our measures to achieve this, including considering latest trends.

Ministry of National Development
12 September 2022

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