The Workers’ Party has agreed that ministers should be paid the million-dollar salaries they are currently drawing.
When pressed by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean in parliament today, WP secretary-general Pritam Singh agreed that the party’s proposed salary structure for ministers would see them getting paid the same amount they are earning today.
The discussion arose after MP Alex Yam asked about ministerial salaries and how they are calculated.
DPM Teo laid out the specifics of how ministers’ salaries are calculated, according to benchmarks in a 2012 White Paper.
He then compared the benchmarks to the WP’s 2012 proposed principles of salary determination, saying that the WP’s formula would have resulted in the same total annual salary for entry-level ministers.
“If there were a WP government in power today, by their own formula, a WP minister would be paid essentially the same as what a minister today is paid.”
Added DPM Teo:
“The Workers’ Party formula would have had a higher fixed component (of 81 per cent) compared to the White Paper’s proposal, and a smaller variable component (of 19 per cent).”
DPM Teo posed the question to Mr Singh about whether he agrees that the salary proposals that his party put forward in 2012 would “essentially” result in the same total salaries for ministers, to which Mr Singh stated unequivocally that his party agreed.
Said Mr Singh:
“The answer is ‘yes’ we agree.”
The 2012 White Paper on government salaries recommended a norm level of S$1.1 million as the total annual salary for an entry-level (MR4) minister – based on a 40 per cent discount to the market reference.
Currently, the fixed component of a minister’s salary is 65 per cent and the variable components constitute 35 per cent of the total norm annual pay.