When it was first announced that a committee would be set up to look into the salary levels of the government post elections, I knew that cuts would be a given, and the percentage would be significant.
All in all, its a good start, as most of the ministers’ salaries were cut by between 30% – 50%, with the President taking the brunt of it with a 51% paycut, and for the first time, getting a lower salary in relation to PM Lee, which is fair given the scope and responsibilities our President doesn’t hold.
What I don’t understand (OK, I understand it from a monetary perspective, but not from a public servant perspective) is why their salaries are being pegged to top 1000 Singaporean earners discounted by 40%.
As public servants, wouldn’t their prerogative be to help the bottom 10% – 20% improve their quality of lives, and of course the overall growth and stability of the nation?
The rich normally get richer, and even if some fall by the wayside, others will rise in their place. The poor on the other hand, could really need help getting out of the poverty cycle.
What it should be
Pegging salaries to the rich is just an easy way out. Pegging it to the poor, or at least middle income earners for instance, is in my opinion a better way of gauging the successes of the government. I’m not even saying they need to receive a very low pay. Let’s say the median income is $40,000 per annum. They can peg it to 10 times for entry-level ministers and 20 times for PM, and its still turns out to be a very decent salary in comparison with other political parties around the world.
If they manage to raise the incomes of the poor and middle-income earners to narrow the gap with the rich, they would in fact be making 99% of the population happy. And their salaries would consequently increase.
But of course, that would take up too much work and effort. And who signs up for public service to serve the public? That’s just stupid.