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Much criticism has been leveled at the excessive amounts PAP ministers pay themselves. However, there has not been any in-depth study about the level of remuneration cabinet ministers should receive.
Until now, that is. The Singapore Democrats has published a position entitled Ethical Salaries for a Public Service Centred Government in which we review the model on which the salaries of ministers are currently based. The publication will be next Wednesday, 30 Nov 11. (See details of launch below)
The paper reviews the history and rationale for the ministerial pay increase and the concerns that Singaporeans have over the matter. Weaknesses of the PAP’s arguments are discussed.
For example, a big chunk of the ministers’ salaries is made of a variable component called the GDP Bonus. As the name implies the bonus is paid according to the GDP recorded the previous year and can be as many as eight months of the ministers basic pay. Such a bonus is highly contentious because GDP growth does not ensure the economic well-being of the people. The SDP’s paper reviews this subject at length.
It also examines international standards in the salary structures of government leaders. We look at the practices in other jurisdictions and the rationale they adopt when it comes to paying their ministers.
But the main focus of our review are, of course, the recommendations for a fairer and more reasonable wage package for ministers. Our recommendations are based on the idea that wages of ministers must revolve around the spirt of public service and national leadership. A cabinet motivated primarily by money is not a good model especially in times of crisis. During such times we will find ourselves with ministers without character and the wherewithal to take steer our ciountry through the difficult times.
The Government-appointed commission led by Mr Gerard Ee is due to publish its report before the end of the year. We will compare and contrast its recoomendations with those of the Singapore Democrats’ and see if the PAP is genuine in addressing the concerns and resolving the problem over the excessive ministers’ salaries.
Event: Launch of Ethical Salaries for a Public Service Centred Government
Date: 30 November 2011, Wednesday
Time: 6:30 pm
Place: Quality Hotel, 201 Balestier Road, Emerald Room
Admission free. All are welcome.