The Ministry of Health in Singapore aims to maintain the affordable prices of canteen food despite its recent increase. They plan to adjust food prices regularly to reflect costs while keeping options available.
In this article, you’ll read:
- MOE Promises to Keep Canteen Food Affordable Despite Price Increase
- The Ongoing Food Price Increase
- The Government’s Response to Inflation
MOE Promises to Keep Canteen Food Affordable Despite Price Increase
Nowadays, several counties across the globe are experiencing inflation. Inflation is typically broad, the rate of increase in prices over a given period.
Typically, it is the adult and working people who can notice the changes that are happening due to inflation. Without their full knowledge, young children are experiencing it as well.
In some cases, most primary students only buy slices of fruit from their respective school canteens. Unfortunately, the supposedly cheap snack has been leaving the pockets of students increasingly lighter.
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Before, watermelon slices only cost 30 cents each, which has now become 40. Meanwhile, dragon fruit slices are now 60 cents each; the price doubled from last year.
According to a civil servant parent, she has not had to increase her child’s $2 daily allowance yet. Despite that, she is aware that food prices are continuously rising.
With the rise of costs in essentials like oil and electricity, most parents expected the increase in canteen food price. Some of the factors at play include the Russia-Ukraine and supply chain disruptions.
The costs of goods not just in Singapore but across the globe are continuously climbing. Concerning this, MOE decided to revise the school canteen guideline, as per their statement on the 2nd of July.
The last time that the authorities last reviewed the guidelines was in the year 2018. These guidelines aim to keep school canteen food affordable. At the same time, they would stallholders to have and maintain adequate income.
According to the MOE, they hope schools adjust their canteen food prices regularly to reflect the underlying cost. Along with this, MOE officials still aim to maintain affordable prices for the students.
“Canteen stallholders who feel that their food prices are unsustainable can approach the school with proposals, and the schools will evaluate such requests in line with the guidelines,” they stated.
The Ongoing Food Price Increase
The food prices have risen slightly in some primary and secondary schools and junior colleges.
In one primary school’s canteen, the price of ban main, a noodle dish, increased; from the price of $2.70 to $3. Along with this is the Western fare from $3 to $3.20.
Parents then decided to monitor this development closely. They are even saying that the increases are still manageable at present. For now, those who receive financial assistance from the MOE do not have complaints.
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However, these parents also expect the ongoing price increase to affect their daily budgets. Singaporean families usually spend around S$350 to S$475 on groceries every month. Unfortunately, this won’t be the case due to the recent inflation.
On the other hand, larger families often set aside a budget of around S$700 per week. Even if they receive financial help from the MOE, the constant rise in food prices will soon change their daily costs.
Inflation in Singapore 2022
The country’s core inflation in May hit its highest level in more than 13 years. Core inflation, which excludes accommodation and private transport costs, came in at 3.6 per cent year-on-year in May.
Meanwhile, the last time Singapore reported higher year-on-year growth was in December 2008. Back then, the core inflation was about 4.2 per cent.
The headline consumer price index, or overall inflation, rose to 5.6 per cent year-on-year in May. It exceeds the 5.4 per cent reported in both April and March.
The Government’s Response to Inflation
Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong released a statement on the 4th of July regarding higher inflation.
According to him, the government will do more to help cushion the impact of the goods and services tax hike if the economic situation worsens significantly. The tax hike was scheduled for January the following year.
Fortunately, the government continues to assist low-income Singaporeans despite the setbacks of the recent inflation. However, the price increase in food and essentials started to affect the budgets of middle-income households.
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Due to their supposed decent earnings, they do not qualify for assistance from the government. Because of this, middle-income parents struggle to give enough pocket money to their kids who attend school.
Most of these parents still fear the time when they need to stop setting aside money for their children’s school allowance. As mentioned, the constant increase in the price of food and essentials makes it difficult for most Singaporean households.
Because of these concerns, MOE schools will ensure that meals are kept affordable. Along with this are generous subsidies provided for those from needy families through MOE or school-based support.
For up to seven meals per week, students in government and government-aided schools who have a monthly gross household income of $2,750 or under and a monthly per capita income of $690 or less are eligible for a $2 subsidy.