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Balancing inflation, competition, and social responsibility of NTUC social enterprise

Letter writer questions NTUC FairPrice’s GST absorption policy and its impact on Singapore’s middle-and-lower-class amid rising living costs and competition.



by Teo Kueh Liang (Mr)

I refer to The Independent Singapore’s featured news “FairPrice will absorb GST hike for 500 essential items for first half of 2024, discounts for seniors extended” (Nov 27) and “More are seeking free food as food prices rise: Volunteer groups” (Nov 28).

I am definitely glad to learn that the NTUC FairPrice is acknowledging significant inflationary pressures and the rising cost of daily essentials that have affected the cost of living for most people to a certain extent.

For many middle-and-lower-class and vulnerable people in Singapore, this decision by the management of NTUC FairPrice is undoubtedly a welcome temporary relief.

However, the following points are puzzling and preferably for further improvement :

1) Why not extend this decision to one year regardless of the classification of age?

2) Could it be a coincidence that the specific “discount event” is tied with the upcoming General Election?

3) Could the list of staples, such as eggs, fish, cheese, potatoes, cassava, yams, toro, and various cooking oils, be expanded?

4) Due to the push and stiff competition from its rivals, such as Sheng Siong and Giant Supermarket, will NTUC FairPrice continue to insist on the quality and price concessions of its various products in the competition and duel? For example, of its fresh produce?

5) Or, will NTUC keep on exploring and seeking breakthroughs in terms of supply chain diversification, product variety, quality assurance and competitive price to better meet the different tastes and requirements of the broad consumer groups?

6) Would NTUC FairPrice consider converting its net annual earnings profit to some form of returns to its vast membership and granting more benefits to its employees? As it is amid the shocking news: –

According to a report by TODAY on 26 January 2021, Sheng Siong employees’ bonuses range from 4.68 months to 15.72 months, depending on the workers’ grades. This was due to Sheng Siong Group’s pre-tax profit for the first nine months of 2020 being 81% higher than in 2019.

Besides, although FairPrice had just made S$99.8 million from almost S$4.3 billion in the turnover of 2021, and Sheng Siong announced S$133.6 million in profits from a revenue of S$1.4 billion.

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It’s no LONGER the workers union that we know. It is now a business using union fees.

So as to pay pappies wannabe minSTIRs!

NTUC vs SS …
Has more outlets,
Sells items at higher price,
Pays less taxes thanks to “Social Enterprise”,
Has other businesses,
Pays less bonuses,
Question: where does all the profit$$$$ go?

I am not sure about the term Social Enterprise that is being used rather freely. The latest is the opening of the Buangkok Hawker Centre by Fei Siong Social Enterprise. When Ci Yuan was started (also by Fei Siong), the stated goal was that Ci Yuan was to be managed on a not for profit basis. If so, I don’t see it reflected in the prices of the food at Ci Yuan. I wonder what became of its so-called “Entrepreneurship Programme” I have not gone to Buangkok HC but I don’t expect to see moderate hawker prices despite this being… Read more »

The fundamental reason for NTUC existence was bcz of Political Brinkmanship by their SET Ups, to manouever Power, subjugate Masses to stay as long as in position to pay themselves super salaries and keep Lording.

What balance is there that is worth to illustrate and highlight as tho NTUC is a Charity of PAP?

A packet of fish ball, same brand ,same amount ,same everything…
NTUC sells $4.25
Elsewhere $2.80.
NTUC helps you daft local to battle inflation?
Have social responsibility?
No wonder last general election got 60.1%!!!
Don’t know in 2025 what %?
Maybe even 70.1%!😆😆😆🤣🤣😆😆😆

Ask ntuc ncm why there is still $3.99 admin fee for online delivery even though the government has already claimed covid-19 is now endemic.

Just like NTUC Enterprise. It used to serve ALL until some Empire decide to rank discount given oso. 8percent for wine lovers, 4321 for the different groups. The practice of what mindset may I ask? If you are serving all the citizens, why do you have to do that. Ranking useful and not useful citizens for you Empires?!?

Now wanna boast about absorbing Gst when who is the creator of Gst?!?
The money faces …