As an ordinary consumer of goods and services, I have noticed that small-time retailers and hawkers are currently squeezed out of their shop spaces by ever-rising rentals. Consumers inevitably are made to pay too, through increases in prices.
Housing Board coffee shops are changing hands at astronomical prices, making it difficult for small-time hawkers, who are not part of any established food and beverage company, to rent stalls or carry on with their trade.
Furthermore, some HDB retail shops are sublet to licensed moneylenders and legal firms.
This is not to the advantage of residents as choice and variety of retailers, and competitive pricing are affected.
It is certainly time for the relevant authorities to rein in the runaway sale and purchase prices in commercial and industrial properties.
The Government should also consider measures to limit the pool of potential buyers in the secondary market so that prices can be reined in further.
Consumers should not have to suffer further increased costs of living through the knock-on effect of ever-rising rentals.
Lillian Lee (Mrs)
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