In response to the concerns on the increasing costs of living, the government has responded by coming up with an initiative to ensure continued access to affordable cooked food options for the residents in their neighborhoods. Currently, only 72 coffee shops offer budget meal options.
The initiative includes measures such as requiring all 374 coffee shops leased by the Housing Board to sell budget meals priced at $2.50 by 2026. This initiative is an extension of the previous one, which was launched in 2018 to mandate the new tenders of rental coffee shops to provide six budget meals and a budget drink. However, this new initiative will broaden the obligation to encompass all other present HDB coffee shops. HDB will work closely with its tenants and hawkers and to start off, these coffee shops will have to provide four budget meals and two budget drinks. The requirement mandates a minimum of two budget meals to be rice-based and one to be halal. Additionally, a minimum of two budget drinks, namely kopi-o (black coffee) and teh-o (black tea), must be available.
Who will be Impacted?
The primary focus of this initiative is on Singaporean residents, especially those belonging to lower-income families who face difficulties in meeting their daily expenses. Given Singapore's high costs of living, residents often encounter challenges in managing their finances, thereby making the government's initiative to provide affordable food a positive move.
The Government also recognizes that town councils are experiencing significant cost hikes, primarily because of external factors like the surge in energy prices. To aid town councils in achieving long-term financial stability, the government is willing to consider a temporary special funding assistance.