Sunday, April 15, 2007

Singapore PM to earn 5 times more than Bush

SINGAPORE, APR 9: Singapore’s Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, will earn five times more than US President George Bush this year after a pay hike on Monday boosted his annual salary to S$3.1 million ($2.05 million). A minister told Parliament on Monday that other Singapore government ministers- who are already among the best paid in the world - will also see their salaries jump by about 60% to an average of S$1.9 million ($1.26 million).
“For the public service to remain an attractive employer, our terms must keep pace with the private sector,” defence minister Teo Chee Hean, who is also minister in charge of the civil service, said in Parliament. The ministerial salary increase - which will take effect in two steps by the end of next year - is slightly smaller than the government had originally proposed. Lee said last month the salaries of Singapore ministers and top civil servants might have to rise by as much as S$1 million ($660,000) to S$2.2 million ($1.45 million) because they had fallen way below benchmark top salaries in the private sector. Lee’s announcement sparked an outcry, with hundreds of Singaporeans signing an online petition and writing to newspapers to protest against the move.

Some Singaporeans said the ministerial salaries did not reflect the country’s economy or the government’s performance, adding that the government was tactless to raise ministers’ salaries now given Singapore’s widening income gap.

[From Jamie: I haven't been following the newspaper for several weeks (simply not enough time/energy!) and I chanced upon this article while reading China Daily in Shanghai. I'm a little embarrassed to say that I was SHOCKED. I always knew that the Singapore ministers were earning one of the highest public sector wages in the world but to have this headline staring back in my face was just unbelievable.

What ever happened to the noble ideology of people working in the government because they wanted to serve the country. As it is, the Singapore ministers aren't exactly being paid peanuts..... a fine example of the rich and powerful becoming even more rich and powerful. Going on a pay rise right after the decision to increase GST 5% to 7% is down right insane. ]

No comments: