Wage cuts between 36 and 53% recommended for political appointments
04 January 2012 1208 hrs
SINGAPORE: The Review Committee, appointed by the Prime Minister to look at Ministerial salaries, has recommended cuts of between 36 and 53 per cent.
This was disclosed by Committee Chairman, Gerard Ee, on Wednesday at a news conference.
The Committee was appointed after the general election in May last year, and had submitted its report to the Prime Minister on December 30.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had announced the review at the swearing-in ceremony of the new cabinet in May last year.
Among the recommendations made are the Prime Minister's annual salary to be cut by 36 per cent, to S$2.2 million.
The annual salary of ministers will be cut by 37 per cent, to S$1.1 million.
The President's annual salary is reduced by 51 per cent, to S$1.54 million.
The Speaker of Parliament will see the biggest percentage cut of 53 per cent, to S$550,000.
Previously, salaries were pegged to the median income of the top 48 earners in Singapore, with a one-third discount.
Now, they will be pegged to the median income of the top 1,000 earners who are Singapore citizens.
A 40 per cent discount will then be applied.
Based on 2010 figures, the proposed salary for entry-level ministers works out to S$1.1 million.
The committee also recommended changes to bonus payments, pensions and benefits under the new pay structure.
The committee has recommended that the GDP bonus be removed, and replaced by a National Bonus.
The National Bonus comprises four elements - including the unemployment rate, real median income growth, GDP growth and the real income growth of the bottom 20 per cent of wage earners.
Chairman Gerard Ee said the salary must be a "clean wage" with no hidden perks.
He said: "Our recommendations, while it is a severe cut, should be able to attract not all, but some of the talents to come forward.
"But preserving the message that you're coming forward to serve in a political capacity, and there is some sacrifice to be made.
"The 1,000, basically is, first take note that it's based on Singaporeans only, and eliminate the PRs and everybody.
"So we say if the talent pool from which we want to tap, if we were to hunt for them, we believe if they were to be functioning outside of politics, that's where we're going to locate them."
The new salary will be backdated to 21 May last year, when the new government took office.
MPs will debate the report when Parliament sits for a second session 16 January.
Parliament's first sitting for this year will be on 9 January. It's expected to focus on several questions tabled on the recent flooding and the spate of MRT disruptions.
We are know there will be a pay cut as this is PAP means of pacifying people what had shown their unhappiness during the election in 2011.
But is it enough?
I still think the PM salary is still high, a comfortable $1Million should be enough for him note all his medical are already covered for and not forgetting he still sit on a few Boards.
For Minister I think they should be pay about $500K a year. This is already a whopping $40K a month, much more then an average Singaporean.
It is good that there will be no more pensions for Minister as they already are millionaire.
The new National Bonus is more fair but they should also include the birth rates in there or national happiness index.
I also think the salaries of Perm-Sect should be review as well. They useless people are commanding salaries equivalent to Ministers and they are not doing a fantastic job too.
Another thing… I am wondering what new minister like Chan Chun Sing is thinking now. Got conned by Men In white?
Also Mah Bow Tan must be thinking Heng Man.... I still get my MP pay but no more doing Minister Job liao!
But again this is just a proposal, Hsien Loong may not agreed to everything. Lets wait and see.