Singapore—It’s a widely-known fact that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has the highest salary of any national leader.
While we’ve written about this before, we’ve never taken a look at how his salary measures up to how much kings and queens are given annually, nor have we compared PM Lee’s salary to such respected world leaders as New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, or even the new US President, Joseph R Biden.
First off, a simple online search will show that PM Lee makes a cool S$ 2.2 million a year, which breaks down to
S$ 183,333,33 per month,
S$ 42,307.69 per week, and
S$ 6,027.39 per day (including weekends and holidays).
This also means that his annual salary is equivalent to the wages of 148 cleaners, just for the sake of putting things in perspective.
However, while PM Lee is the highest-paid country leader, compared to royalty, his salary might pale in comparison.
For example, let’s start with the United Kingdom’s Queen Elizabeth II. Her yearly remuneration is US$97.2 million or S$128,860,772.79.
King Philippe of Belgium gets US$13,900,000 yearly, or S$18,450,000.
Queen Margrethe II of Denmark is given US$13,200,000, or S$17,500,00.
And Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf receives US$9,100,000 or S$12,070,670.98 every year.
However, not all of Europe’s royalty has a higher remuneration than PM Lee. King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands receives a little over US$1.1 million, or S$1,500,000, annually.
And lest we think that only European monarchs are rolling in (mostly tax-free) dough, the net worth of Japan’s Emperor Naruhito was $40 million (S$53 million) in 2017.
This may seem high, but it is Thailand’s king who’s considered the richest royal in the world, with a net worth over ten times that of the Japanese monarch, US$43 billion (S$57 billion).
Now, let’s look at PM Lee’s salary compared to other world leaders.
Canada’s popular Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, receives annual compensation of 357,800 Canadian dollars, which is around S$ 373,000.
Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand and one of the best heads of state in the world today, is paid 471,049 New Zealand dollars, which amounts to S$S450,000.
She did, however, take a six-month pay cut last year in solidarity with her countrymen who had been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
As for the newly-installed President of the United States, Joseph R Biden, his salary is US$ 400,000 a year. This is equivalent to S$ 530,000, which is less than one-third of PM Lee’s salary.
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