Wednesday, 18th January 2012
Parliament has accepted the proposals made by the Committee to Review Ministerial Salaries after a three-day debate. Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, who is also Minister-in-charge of civil service, said both sides of the House (PAP and two opposition parties) have moved much closer together. 30 MPs took part in the debate. The new salary structure will be backdated to 21 May 2011. Huat Ah!
The Singapore Prime Minister's Salary has been reduced by 36% to S$2.2 million (USD $1.7 million). The Singapore President's salary is reduced by 51% to S$1.54 million (USD $1.19 million). And new ministers will make about S$1.1 million each (USD $0.85 million).
$2.2 million is like striking the first prize with a $3 Super Singapore Big Sweep once a year. "Huat Ah!"
But seriously, what can a $1.1 million buy this days (2012)? A new freehold 500 sq ft shoebox apartment (S$500,000) for investment (easily rent it out to the ever growing pool foreign talents), buy over a prestige golf club membership (S$200,000), a second-hand Japanese sports car (S$100,000) for your wife or husband, a summer vacation to Europe for the entire family (S$50,000), and still have a quarter of million dollars spending money.
The proposed magic formula for an entry level minister's pay will be the median income of the TOP 1,000 earners (0.05% of working population) who are Singapore citizens. A 40 per cent discount will then be applied, working the pay out to be S$1.1 million per year.
Quote from an article published by the Monetary Authority Of Singapore in 2007, "An imbalance between the rich and the poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics.... Singapore’s income inequality has been growing, indicated by the increasing Gini coefficient, from 0.442 in 2000 to 0.472 in 2006." $1.1 million a year equal an average of about S$91,000 per month or about 36 times (36X) the median income of a typical working Singaporean.
BTW: The new pay for a Singapore Member of Parliament (90 MP including the Opposition) is S$192,500 (US$148,306) per year tax free. Not bad for a part-time job.
Fact: Germany's PM, German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel, makes about S$350,000 (USD$270,000) per year. Germany has a population of 80 Million and a GDP of USD$3,500 Billion. Singapore has a population of 5 Million and a GDP of USD$240 Billion.