Mr Pritam Singh (Aljunied): Sir, beyond grants and payouts which are certainly helpful, there are things which the Government can do to help Singaporeans on a daily long-term basis to reduce costs.
One suggestion I have is the building of more hawker centres in the areas that a large number of Singaporeans work at. For example, people who work in the Marina Bay Area have few choices for cheaply priced lunches.
Not everyone who works in the Marina Bay Area is a wealthy banker. Assistant deliverymen, cleaners, coffee ladies, new entrants into the workforce and many others in junior positions have to work there and eat lunch and those in junior positions usually have very restricted lunch times and cannot travel far for lunch before having to get back to the office. The difference between a $3.50 awker centre plate of food and a $7.00 food court plate means a great deal to those on a limited budget.
One person told me that his daughter is happy that she recently moved from working at Marina Boulevard to working at Havelock Road where she has many more reasonable options for lunch that are easy to get to.
This is one area where the Government can directly intervene – build hawker centres in areas where people work and keep rentals down, so that we can help hawkers in turn keep prices down. This is a way to keep everyday costs low for Singaporeans.
Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment
1 March 2023