[Poll] How Much Do You Think the Prime Minister and Singaporeans Should Earn?

Lee Hsien Loong Elderly 1

Between 2013 and 2017, Singapore’s prime minister earned as much as S$2.7 million a year, and possibly more.

However, Singapore’s cleaners still earn as little as S$1,060 a month, or less. There is a massive gap between how much the prime minister and Singapore’s workers earn.

QUESTION: Therefore, how much do you think Singapore’s prime minister and Singapore’s workers should earn?

In this short post, you can take 6 polls to find out what other Singaporeans think is a fair wage for the prime minister and Singapore’s workers.

Before each question, there will be brief statistics to provide some background information for you.

Let’s begin.

Questions 1/2: How Much Salary Do You Think Singapore’s Prime Minister Should Earn?

To give you a gauge, below is how much the other high-income countries pay their political leaders (rounded off to the nearest fives):

  • Singapore’s prime minister earns more than 200 times what cleaners in Singapore earn.
  • In comparison, in the other high-income countries, their political leaders only earn an average of about 10 times the minimum wage. In the Nordic countries, it is even fairer – their political leaders earn only an average of about 5 times the minimum rate wage.
  • When comparing with median wage, political leaders in other high-income countries also only earn an average of about 5 times the median wage. In Singapore, the prime earns nearly 60 times more, than Singapore’s median wage of S$3,749 a month (not including CPF).
  • Political leaders in other high-income countries also only earn an average of about 6 times their countries’ GDP per capita. In Singapore, the prime minister earns more than 35 times more, than Singapore’s GDP per capita of S$73,167 a year in 2016.
  • When pegging the salaries of the political leaders to the average cost of living in these countries, they generally follow a trendline. But Singapore is way off the mark – Singapore’s prime minister and ministers earn several times more than what corresponds to Singapore’s average cost of living, when compared to the other high-income countries.
  • In the top 10 ranking countries on the Corruption Perception Index or the other countries perceived to be the least corrupt in the world, their political leaders earn an average of about S$250,000. Singapore ranks 6th but its prime minister earns more than 10 times the salaries of the other political leaders.
  • In fact, the political leaders in other high-income countries earn an average of S$325,000 but Singapore’s prime minister earns as much as S$2.7 million, or more. This is more than 8 times more than them.

Source: The Crazy Rich Salaries of Singapore’s Ministers Versus the Poor Peasants Who Support Them

With these facts as reference, how would you answer the following question?

 

For the question below, note that when the minimum and median wages changes, the prime ministers’ salary would change accordingly.

 

Questions 3/4: Should There Be A Limit As To How Many Times Singapore’s Prime Minister Earn More Than Minimum Wage?

As calculated, Singapore’s prime minister earns as much as S$2.7 million a year between 2013 and 2017, or even more. However, Singapore’s cleaners earn as little as only S$1,060 a month. The prime minister earns more than 210 times more than what a cleaner earns, and it would take more than 5 working lifetimes for the cleaner to earn the same amount.

Also, last year, there were still 7% of Singapore residents who earned less than S$1,000, and when you include the foreign workforce, 20% of workers were earning less than S$1,000 in Singapore.

Singapore’s prime minister also earns 100 times more than the starting salary of a polytechnic graduate of S$2,200 a month last year, and nearly 60 times more than Singapore’s median wage of S$3,749 a month last year.

In the other high-income countries, their political leaders earn only about 10 times more than minimum wage. And in the Nordic countries, their political leaders earn only about 5 times more than the minimum rate wage.

In the Nordic countries, a worker on a minimum rate wage only needs to take 5 years to earn what their prime ministers earn. However, in Singapore, a cleaner would need to work more than 5 lifetimes to earn what the prime minister earns. This means that low-income Singaporeans would never be able to earn even what the prime minister earns in a year.

As such, how would you answer the following questions?

 

 

Questions 5/6: How Much Do You Think Singapore’s Minimum Wage Should Be?

But do you know that Singapore still does not currently have a minimum wage, and is one of very few countries in the world to still not have one?

Cleaners earn a starting wage of only S$1,060 but there are still 7% of Singapore residents who earn less than S$1,000 (20% when including the foreign workforce).

In most of the other high-income countries, there is a minimum wage that corresponds  roughly to their GDP per capita or cost of living.

In countries with a similar GDP per capita and cost of living, their minimum (rate) wages are as follows (rounded off to the nearest five hundred, for ease of comparison):

  • S$5,000 (in Norway and Switzerland)
  • S$4,000 (in Denmark and Sweden)
  • S$3,500 (in Finland)
  • S$3,000 (in Australia, Luxembourg and New Zealand)
  • S$2,500 (in Germany and the Netherlands)
  • S$2,000 (in Canada and Japan)

Mind you, Singapore’s GDP per capita and cost of living is among the top 10 highest in the world, but it does not even have a minimum wage and 20% of the total workforce still earn less than S$1,000.

In other words, 20% of Singapore’s workers earn only half the minimum wage of Canada and Japan, or less, and only one-third that of Australia, Luxembourg and New Zealand, or less. In fact, half of Singaporeans earn less than the minimum rate wage in the Nordic countries and Switzerland, and nearly 70% of Singaporeans earn less than the minimum rate wage in Norway and Switzerland.

Given the above information, how would you answer the question below?

 

 

Have you finished taking the polls?

But here’s more information for you.

In the other high-income countries, their political leaders earn about 6 times more than their GDP per capita. Their political leaders also earn about 5 times more than median wage and 10 times more than minimum wage. This means that there isn’t that big a disparity between minimum wage, median wage and the salaries of the political leaders.

But in Singapore, the prime minister earns more than 35 times more than the GDP per capita, nearly 60 times more than median wage, 100 times more than the starting salaries of polytechnic graduates and more than 210 times more than cleaners. This not only shows that there is a massive disparity between the wages of ordinary citizens like you and I, and with the prime minister and ministers, but also that when compared with the GDP per capita, Singaporeans are not adequately compensated.

Whereas citizens in the other high-income countries are properly compensated in wages from what they have helped to contribute in GDP, Singaporeans are not returned the GDP that they have helped to contribute.

This is why even though Singapore’s cost of living has grown with the GDP per capita, the majority of Singaporeans cannot catch up with the cost of living, because their wage growth has fallen way behind the growth in GDP.

Meanwhile, the Singapore prime minister and ministers pay themselves way more than is necessary for the cost of living in Singapore. So while PAP’s ministers can enjoy the comforts of life, the rest of Singaporeans have to slog, some until their deaths.

Have you ever questioned why you are working so hard for the people who are making your lives so difficult? Why don’t you put in people in government who will actually work for you?

Singapore has actually earned enough to ensure that all Singaporeans will be able to enjoy a comfortable life, but instead the PAP government has allowed themselves to live a good life, while the rest of you struggle.

Why do you make it so hard for yourself?

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3 comments

  1. Pingback: [Poll Results] Singapore’s Prime Minister Should Not Earn More than S$325,000 A Year | The Heart Truths

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