Thursday 16 November 2017

"Let food trucks be powered by market forces” | SCMP

Food trucks: not rocket science, but HK government can't get it right
They published my letter in today's South China Morning Post.  Hardly an earth-shattering subject, nothing like the geo-politics in my immediately preceding post.
But still, it reflects just how incompetent this government has become.  Timid, do-nothing.  How much have they done nothing about? The west Kowloon cultural centre; a post-Octopus cashless payment system; a rational system to run the cross-harbour tunnels; delays in starting the third runway; support for local technology; driverless cars; and so on.
The food trucks fiasco is just an example.  It ought to be easy to fix.  But they won't fix it, is my bet. I hope I'm proven wrong, for the sake of the remaining operators.
The editorial in today's SCMP also takes the government to task for lack of innovation.
My letter:
Let food trucks be powered by market forces
Food trucks have been in the news again for all the wrong ­reasons, with some having failed and only a few remaining.
Niall Fraser excoriates the government’s handing of them, and he’s right to do so (“Food trucks hard to stomach after glory days of street stalls”, ­October 31), but what should be done? To abandon the ­scheme now would punish the remaining truck operators who have ­invested millions of dollars. Surely the solution is easy.
Food trucks are successful in other countries, why not here? The answer is simple – the dead hand of bureaucrats. Get them out of the way.
Allow the trucks to be located where they want to (with limited exclusion zones). Scrap the ­requirement for a backup ­kitchen. Let more trucks operate without the ridiculous tests the first batch had to go through (only a bureaucrat would think of that). In short, let market ­forces bloom.
Get the dead hand of government off the trucks. And, while we’re about it, how about letting those wonderful street stalls back in our city?
Everyone loves them, residents and visitors alike.
Peter Forsythe, Discovery Bay