Policy: Ministerial salaries

Policy: Ministerial salaries

06 August 2015

The Problem

PAP ministers are the highest paid politicians in the world, earning millions of dollars a year. In 2011, the ministers were paid an incredible 24-month bonus! Because of this, they live in a completely different world from the average citizen and don’t understand our difficulties and worries.

SDP’s Solution

We in the SDP believe that those who aspire to govern a country must be imbibed with a strong sense of selflessness and love for the nation. To enrich oneself financially while claiming it is one’s due for service to the country is incompatible with true leadership.

To determine the appropriate ministerial salary level, the SDP recommends the following measures:

  1. Establish an independent ministerial salary commission for each financial year. Such a commission shall compile and publish annually the salaries of ministers, along with their other commercial interests.
  2. Do away with variable bonuses such as the GDP Bonus and the Performance Bonus which together can come up to as much as 22 months of a minister’s basic salary. Instead, ministerial pay should comprise fixed salary components.
  3. Peg ministerial pay to the bottom 20 percent of Singaporean wage earners.
    1. MPs’ allowance should be 10 times the mean wage of the bottom 20th percentile (based on the assumption that there is a minimum wage in place).
    2. Ministers should be paid three times the MP allowance; the prime minister should be paid four times that amount. Based on our recommendations the prime minister would likely paid $56,000 a month and a minister $42,000. These wages are more than fair.
  1. Provide ministers with allowances for expenses incurred while performing their official duties. The claims should be published to ensure transparency and accountability.
  2. Move the Corrupt Practices Investigation Board (CPIB) out of the Prime Minister’s Office and empower it to investigate all ministers without needing the approval of the President of Singapore.

Read the full paper Ethical Salaries For a Public-Centred Government here.

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