Singapore—It’s no secret that Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is the highest-paid head of state in the world. And, considering that he’s been in power for more than 14 years, we have to guess that his salary amounts to quite a tidy sum indeed.
The salary of the Prime Minister has come into the spotlight recently again, due to his wife, Ho Ching’s sharing on her Facebook page what is essentially a defence of how much he earns, and saying that Singapore has a clean wage system “ie no other perks in kind, and no pensions or other benefits after leaving office in SG, while most if not all other countries would have many other perks during term of office, like butlers and hairdressers, free flights on national airlines, even family holidays, etc; and quite a number like the USA would include perks after end of term of office.”
But exactly how does PM Lee’s salary size up compared to other world leaders? If he makes the most money out of all of them, how much do the others earn? Are the salaries of world leaders comparable at all?
We’re number one!
Let’s start off with some facts and figures. Singapore’s Prime Minister earns S$2.2 million per year, which is twenty times more than the GDP per capita, and 12 times as much as Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia.
Having said that, experts point out that Singapore is the least corrupt country in the world, and that its officials cannot be bought off. Add to this the fact that Singapore is one of the most, if not actually the most, expensive city to live.
Who’s in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th spots?
Next in line to PM Lee is Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam. But Ms Lam earns S$788,000 yearly, or around one-third of the Prime Minister’s salary. Ms Lam got a nice bump in pay last year when the salaries of all heads of government in Hong Kong were raised by 12.4 percent based on the cumulative change in the consumer price index, which measures inflation.
Coming in at number three is the President of the Swiss Confederation, Ueli Maurer, who earns less than a third of PM Lee’s salary, at S$682,000. Last year, Mr Maurer’s predecessor, Doris Leuthard, was number two on the list of highest-paid heads of state. Because Switzerland is a member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which pushes for transparency around the globe, the salary of the head of state will always be made public.
At number four is US President Donald Trump, whose income on paper is around S$555,000 a year, but since he promised to donate the total amount of his salary, he brings home exactly S$1. Still all in all, since his personal fortune is pegged at over S$4 billion, this does not pose much of a problem.
Rounding out the top five of best-paid heads of state is Australia’s Scott Morrison, who brings home S$525,000 per year. With this salary, Mr Morrison makes seven times more than the average Australian citizen. But Australia has no term limits on their chief executive, and so if he stays in power for years, he can expect to amass a considerable fortune as well./ TISG
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