And today, with the oil production problems in the Middle East, there is going to be once again another round of increases in the cost of living. Believe you me.
Energy still powers much of the world’s economy and the troubles there will almost certainly lead directly to electricity increases, transport fare increases, even food increases.
Here in Singapore, we are already suffocating under the weight of inflation. I am concerned that retailers might add to the problems, even take advantage of geopolitical problems and try to raise prices under the disguise of inflation and try to profit from it.
As it is today, eating out at hawker centers can cost a fair bit. Go and have a meal anywhere, I’d say that you would be hard pressed to find a decent meal (complete with drinks) for under $5. I think the better budget would be $10 a meal. The price of coffee has risen to as high as $1.40 and branded soft drinks such as Coke can cost even $1.80
Then there is the popularity of fancy, themed foodcourts in shopping malls that add no other value than to have strange themes. These themes usually mean that food will be priced even higher. I have had roast pork rice that costs $8.
Consider also healthcare. As it is, it is not cheap to fall sick in Singapore. Consultations, scans, laboratory tests, treatments, medicine…all these can cost a pretty penny. Being in the sandwiched class doesn’t help: we have elders to pay for and youngsters to raise. Even regular checkups for children can cost as much as $200 a pop at the clinic. Vaccination for children at hospitals can cost one in the thousands.
I haven’t even gotten to the part about housing and transport.
From what I observe, the cost of living in Singapore is something that never comes down. Salary increases, for myself and the people around me seem to be too little or even at all. As it is, I feel that families are struggling to cope.