The same, old subject of Ministerial Salaries came up in Parliament during the annual Committee of the Supply debates. Just like clockwork, some of us began ranting about the high salaries that the politicians earn.
Yesterday, DPM Teo Chee Hean mentioned that the framework used to determine ministerial salaries was valid and political salaries could have been adjusted but were not. He stated the wages in the Public Service must be kept realistic and highlighted the three principles that Parliament agreed on for determining Ministerial salaries.
In 2012, Workers’ Party MP Pritam Singh spoke about a straw poll of his friends and family and found that they felt an MP’s monthly salary should be around the 10,000 and Ministerial salaries between 30,000 and 50,000. Well, as he acknowledged, it’s not a scientific poll and suggested that it be pegged to a senior civil servant’s pay (MX9) which has a $14,000 mid-point now. Mr Chen Show Mao also suggested that a minister should be paid five times the salary of a MX9-grade director.
Now here’s some math to digest, taking the suggestions into account, a Minister be earning close to $70,000 a month excluding bonuses. Assuming there’s 3 months of bonus a year, it actually equates up to $1,050,000 a year. This actually isn’t too far off from what they are earning right now (~$1,100,000).
There are probably better ways to decide how much a Minister should be paid but perhaps the WP’s suggestions in 2012 were not the best. This discussion over Ministerial salaries will likely never end but perhaps, at least ministerial salaries are now becoming more in line with what it should be.