Ministers take a pay cut

(NST) SINGAPORE: Ministers in the recession-hit island republic will earn a salary of about US$1 million (RM3. 6 million) each this year — even after a 20 per cent pay cut, a minister told Parliament yesterday.

Ministers could expect to take home about S$1.54 million (RM3.6 million) after the cuts, said Teo Chee Hean, minister in charge of the civil service.

Senior bureaucrats would see their annual salary shrink 12 per cent to S$351,000, he said, adding the figure could change depending on the economy.

"As the salaries are linked to economic performance, this year's salaries may be subject to further adjustment given the volatility in the economy," Teo said in response to a question.

In 2007, Singapore introduced a mechanism linking a significant proportion of senior civil servants' salaries to economic performance, which means that if the economy is doing well, pay will increase. The reverse occurs if growth stalls.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said recently the government would further reduce its economic forecast for this year because the global situation had worsened.

There was no discussion in yesterday's parliamentary session of Lee's salary, but The Straits Times reported in November that he would earn S$3.04 million after a 19 per cent cut.