SINGAPORE: From November, volunteer police officers will have their allowance increased by a dollar to S$4.60 per hour, Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam announced at a 70th anniversary celebration dinner for the volunteer force on Friday (Oct 21).
The increase will apply to the Singapore Police Force's Volunteer Special Constabulary (VSC) officers and to the uniformed volunteers in the Civil Defence Auxiliary Unit of the Singapore Civil Defence Force.
The allowance is meant to offset out-of-pocket expenses such as transport and food.
"The allowances are modest because this is the Government, but the point is the fact that we value you and this is symbolism,” Mr Shanmugam said. “I'm making the point that not only were we right increasing it in the past, but I said in Parliament, I would increase it further and we did so."
The issue of their VSC allowances was raised in Parliament in August, after the Auditor-General found that volunteer officers got a pay raise without the authorisation of the Home Affairs minister. The allowance was last raised from S$2.80 per hour to S$3.60 per hour in 2008. Mr Shanmugam called it a procedural error and authorised the payments retrospectively. He also said VSC allowance rates would be reviewed as these were "still too low".
Mr Shanmugam also said a review team comprising regular police officers and volunteer police has been set up to help revamp the VSC force by 2025, as the Home Team also seeks to transform itself by 2025.