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Salaries of Singapore ministers, political office holders to be reviewed in 2023

Salaries of Singapore ministers, political office holders to be reviewed in 2023

A general view of the Parliament House in Singapore on Sep 23, 2022. (File photo: CNA/Try Sutrisno Foo)

SINGAPORE: The next review of Singapore's political appointment holders' salaries is targeted for this year, said Minister-in-charge of the Public Service Chan Chun Sing on Tuesday (Jan 10).

He was responding to Non-Constituency MP (NCMP) Hazel Poa's parliamentary question on whether a committee has been appointed to carry out a five-yearly review of political salaries.

She noted that the last committee was appointed in 2017.

Mr Chan acknowledged in a written answer that a 2012 White Paper on Salaries for a Capable and Committed Government had recommended that an independent committee be appointed every five years to review the salary framework for political appointment holders.

"In 2018, the Government provided its response to the latest review of political salaries by an independent committee," he said.

"The committee had concluded then that the salary framework remained relevant and sound, and its recommendations included adjusting the salary levels of political appointment holders to match the updated benchmark." 

The benchmark for an entry-level minister is based on the median income of the top 1,000 Singapore citizen earners, with a 40 per cent "discount" to reflect the "ethos of political service", according to the Public Service Division's website.

Salaries of other political office holders are determined based on ratios to the pay of an entry-level minister, and their different roles and responsibilities. The prime minister, for instance, earns twice the salary of an entry-level minister.

"The salaries of political appointment holders will be adjusted according to the movement of the benchmark as it responds to market conditions," said PSD.

In 2018, the Government decided not to make any changes to political salaries, since the economy was still in transition. It also indicated then that it would review the matter again after five years, or when it becomes necessary.

"The next political salaries review is targeted for 2023, and we will share more details in due course," said Mr Chan on Tuesday.

According to PSD, as of 2023, the benchmark level of a minister's monthly salary stands at S$55,000, working out to an annual salary of S$1.1 million.

In 2018, an independent committee chaired by Dr Gerard Ee recommended an upward annual adjustment to match annual benchmark movements of 9 per cent since 2011.

It suggested setting the annual salary for an entry-level minister at S$1.2 million. This figure includes a 13th-month bonus, three-month performance bonus and National Bonus paid out if indicators are met.

The committee also recommended adjusting the allowance for NCMPs from 15 per cent of that of elected MPs to 20 per cent, to "recognise that NCMPs have full voting rights in Parliament from April 2017", said then-Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean.

The Government's response then was to maintain the salary framework and level. Mr Teo explained that the decision was influenced by the 2017 entry-level minister salary benchmark dropping below the 2016 one.

Source: CNA/ic(jo)

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