Do you know that even though the Singapore prime minister is paid $2.2 million, he is able to earn a lot more than that?
According to the Public Service Division, the total annual salaries for ministers at MR4 “comprise(s) fixed pay and a variable pay of 1 month Annual Variable Component, 3 months Performance Bonus and 3 months National Bonus“, or a total of 19 months worth of pay that he is entitled to. (Most Singaporeans don’t even see 14 months.) The breakdown of the prime minister’s salary is similar assumed, unless the government would like to otherwise explain.
But do you know that the prime minister is able to earn up to 26.5 months of pay?
This is what he gets to earn:
- 12-month pay
- 13th month bonus
- Up to 1.5 months Annual Variable Component
- Up to 12 months national bonus
But note that “In years of exceptional economic performance, a one-off Special Variable Payment can also be made,” which in theory means there are no limits to how much the prime minister and ministers get to earn – there are sky-high limits to their salaries!
How many ordinary Singaporeans get to earn more than another year’s worth of pay? And which ordinary Singaporean gets to have an unlimited “Special Variable Payment” built into our pay which allows our wages to multiply? Sure, some bankers do. But are ministers bankers? Should they profit from the money of Singaporeans? These are hard-earned tax-payers’ money and CPF monies – and as a government, the first priority should always be to redistribute the money back to Singaporeans for our livelihoods and not to their own salaries.
But if the PAP sees it fit to operate themselves as bankers, then they are in the wrong job or they have the wrong priorities and the PAP is sorely what Singapore does not need.
The Singapore Prime Minister Gets to Earn More than $3 Million Every Year and Another $192,500 in MP Allowance
Anyway – thus if the prime minister is able to earn all of the 26.5 months of his pay, he would actually be earning $3,068,421!
But note that “the Prime Minister, Speaker, Deputy Speaker and political appointment holders will also receive Member of Parliament allowances as they have the dual roles of being MPs”. The MP annual allowance is $192,500, which means that the prime minister can potentially earn $3,260,921 (not yet including the Special Variable Payment).
Of course, if you include the Special Variable Payment, which has no stated limits, it is possible that the prime minister can even earn $4 million or $5 million or even more!
The Singapore Prime Minister Could Be the Among One of the Top 50 Richest CEOs in Singapore
Now, when you put the $3,260,921 million that the prime minister is able fully earn, this would easily put him as one of the top 40 or 50 highest paid CEOs in Singapore!
Take a look at how much the top 30 highest paid CEOs in Singapore are paid.
According to the government, the $2.2 million that the Singapore prime minister earns today is a “28% discount” that Singaporeans are getting.
However, when you look at the full amount of $3,260,921 that the prime minister can potentially earn today (not yet including the Special Variable Payment), this is actually more than what the prime minister was getting during the last salary adjustment in 2007!
In 2007, the prime minister could earn $3,091,200.
In 2008, this rose to $3,870,000.
In 2011, SDP calculated that the prime minister would have earned $4.23 million.
This would have put the Singapore prime minister firmly within the ranks of the top 30 highest paid CEOs in Singapore!
Singaporeans Pay $50 Million Every Year to the PAP Ministers in Salaries
In 2007, Singaporeans would need to pay $46 million to the pay for the salaries of the ministers!
To put this into a bit of perspective, last year, “$102 million of social assistance payments was given to 72,000 needy Singaporeans and their families,” or an average of only $118 every month to each Singaporean who received assistance. The salaries paid to the ministers would account for nearly half of this amount!
Now, pray tell, why the PAP believes that they should be paid extravagant tens of millions in salaries when they are so resistant towards giving our needy Singaporean families more financial assistance?
If they can so easily decide to pay themselves tens of millions, is it that difficult to find the money or rather, the heart, to help needy Singaporeans get by, or even just to survive?
From another perspective, why does the PAP believe that low-income Singaporeans should deserve so little in assistance, when the PAP has no qualms paying themselves such high salaries?
The question is – if the government is elected to take care of Singaporeans, then why would the PAP be so resistant to actually do what they are mandated to do – to take care of Singaporeans, but would instead pay themselves such extravagant salaries?
A Low-Income Singaporean Who Earns $1,000 Every Month Will Take 272 Years to Earn What the Singapore Prime Minister Earns in One Year
Or, if you look at it from another perspective, for a Singaporean who earns $1,000 a month in Singapore (or the de facto minimum wage given to cleaners), it would take him or her 272 years to earn what the prime minister can fully earn in a year today.
And if you look at the median income earner who earns $3,705 (when including for employer CPF), he/she would need to take 73 years to earn what the prime minister gets to earn in a year.
Of course, seeing that our CPF is as good as gone, if you take the median income of $3,250 (without including employer CPF), an average Singaporean would need to take 84 years to earn what the prime minister gets to earn in a year – which means that if Singaporeans were to start working once we are given birth to, even if we work our whole lives until we die, we would still never earn as much as what the prime minister can potentially earn today.
In 10 years, the prime minister would have easily earned $30 million. For a low-income Singaporean who earns $1,000, it would take them 2,500 years to earn what the prime minister would easily earn in 10 years!
To give you a bit of perspective, if you look at another country, say Norway, which has a similar level of wealth and GDP per capita, and prices as Singapore, but where its workers are paid much fairer wages, for the lowest-income workers who earn $5,000 every month ($60,000 in a year), it will only take them 5 years to earn what their prime minister earns ($300,000 in a year). And by the way, they already consider what they pay to their prime minister “a lot of money”.
And for the median income earner in Norway who earns about $8,000, it will take about 3 years.
This is in comparison to the 272 years and 84 years that it would take low-income and median income Singaporeans to earn.
I don’t know about you, but this is not just obscene what the PAP is today. It is downright selfish, despicable and nasty – I don’t have a right word for it (a vulgar word comes into my mind).
Last week, I wrote that every time the PAP increased their own salaries in 1984, 1994, 2000 and 2007, this also caused the income inequality to increase, and the share of income that went to the rich also went upwards – because of the PAP’s unilateral want to increase their own salaries. But this has not only caused the income inequality to widen, it has also resulted in dangerous social effects, such as the highest prisoner rates, reduced levels of trust and social mobility. The PAP’s greed and their want to enrich themselves, at the expense of Singaporeans, puts Singapore and our future in a tenuous position.
You simply do not go into government, claim to care for Singaporeans and then increase your own salaries by leaps and bounds to the tens of millions and tell Singaporeans that it is because you deserve it, when you pay them a miserly $1,000 a month and tell them that if they can get another $100 on social assistance, that is more than enough already.
You don’t sting on your own citizens but when it comes to your own salaries, come out with all sorts of justification, so that you can make people pay you more. No, you don’t take advantage of government and the citizens to do that. Such behaviour is dishonourable and shows a lack of integrity.
It is not just despicable, it is beyond incorrigible.
And to think that they have the cheek to tell us they need to earn high salaries to remain aboveboard and we have allowed them to bamboozle us for the past 30 years now (Lee Kuan Yew first mooted the extravagant increase in salaries to millions in 1984).
The PAP has run its course for us. It is no longer what Singapore and Singaporeans need. It is clear that they have hijacked government for their own purposes and if we do not rid our government of this scourge that is the PAP, our country and the survival of Singaporeans is at stake.
It is up to Singaporeans to wise up to the reality, to realise the implications and to do what’s right for ourselves.
Come down to the #ReturnOurCPF 4 protest on 27 September 2014 at 4pm at Hong Lim Park. You can join the Facebook event page here.