Singapore—As a show of solidarity with Singaporeans who are experiencing economic loss due to the coronavirus pandemic, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced that political office holders will be taking a pay cut not once but twice.
On February 28, Mr Heng announced that political office holders would take a one-month pay cut, and last Thursday (Mar 26), he made another announcement in Parliament that they would be taking a two-month pay cut.
What the exact total of how much savings this would entail for Singapore is uncertain, but we’ve done the math to estimate what the cabinet pay cut would look like when put together.
Let’s begin with the first announcement. In late February, the Deputy Prime Minister said that “all ministers and other holders of political office will be taking a one-month pay cut.”
He added that President Halimah Yacob would also take a similar pay cut, the allowance of every Member of Parliament (MP) would also be cut by one month, and certain senior public service officers will be taking a half-month cut in their pay.
On March 26, when DPM Heng announced the supplementary budget provided in the light of the coronavirus pandemic, he said that political office-holders would be taking a two-month pay cut in addition to the the one-month pay, and that the President, the Speaker and Deputy Speakers will also take a similar three-month pay cut in total.
Now, what could that look like in terms of dollars and cents?
A White Paper entitled “Salaries for a Capable and Committed Government” approved by Parliament in 2012 shows the salary structures of Singapore’s top officials.
The Prime Minister receives S$2.2 million per year.
The President has an annual salary of S$1.54 million.
The 18 cabinet members have varied salaries, with a minimum annual pay of S$1.1 million.
Members of Parliament receive an allowance of S$192,500, and NCMPs and NMPs receive a S$28,900 allowance yearly.
There are yet other officials, such a ministers of state and parliamentary secretaries, whom we have not included here.
Please note that computation for the monthly salaries of these officials is not always divided by the number of months in a year, as bonuses and an Additional Variable Component (AVC) is also taken into consideration.
For example, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s salary follows this computation:
13 months’ salary + 6 months Performance bonus + 3 months National bonus + 1 month AVC = 23 months / S$2.2 million
Doing the Math
Here is our calculation for the 3-month pay cut. Please note that this was done to the best of our ability based on available sources (linked) and are mere estimates.
PM Lee — S$287,000
President Halimah — S$330,000
18 Cabinet Ministers — S$2,970,000
Speaker — S$117,857.10
Deputy Speakers —S$35,357.10
93 Members of Parliament — S$3,836,250
3 NCMPs + 9NMPs – S$74,314.30
Total = S$7,650,778.50
There are yet other officials, such as ministers of state and parliamentary secretaries, who may be subject to the pay cut but have not been included here as we do not have the pertinent information. Therefore, it is likely that the total is even higher than the one we have come up with. —/TISG