Won't high bids drive up hawker food prices?

The National Environment Agency (NEA) recently awarded a tender for a hawker stall in New Market Road at a $10,000 per month rental.

While I can appreciate the tender being awarded to the highest bidder, I question the wisdom of it.

In accepting a bid that is far above the prevailing market rate, the NEA is sending a message to other bidders that they may have to hit this new benchmark to secure a stall. This will drive up the rental cost for hawker stalls.

To break even, the hawkers would have to charge more for their food and drinks, thus pushing up the prices of hawker food in Singapore.

The NEA should send a clear message to hawkers that they should bid sensibly and keep the prices of hawker food affordable.

Patrick Tan Siong Kuan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 19, 2017, with the headline 'Won't high bids drive up hawker food prices?'. Print Edition | Subscribe