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Ministerial Pay: Uniquely Singapore, F1 or F9?

By Leong Sze Hian

77% Private sector benchmark = 9 months performance + GDP bonus?

I refer to the Public Service Division's (PSD) reply "Public sector's benchmark pay includes all bonuses" (Today, Dec 26) to my letter "A question on remuneration" (Weekend Today, Dec 22-23).

It states that "The total annual pay for ministers includes all bonuses, such as the 13th-month payment, the average performance bonus and the GDP bonus. In the latest revision, we have also included the imputed value of the pension.

With all these components included, the salary for ministers at the MR4 grade will reach 77 per cent of the benchmark".

I would like to seek clarification on the following:-

Since the exact quantum of the pay rise was announced in Parliament in April that the second and third ministerial pay revisions on 1 January 2008 and 1 January 2009, would reach 77 and 88 per cent respectively, of the private sector benchmark which was based on last year's private sector pay, how is it possible to know in April that the performance bonus at the end of the year is going to be nine months?

In addition, since the GDP bonus is variable from 3 to 8 months, what is the GDP bonus for the year, which is expected to be at the upper end because of this year's good economic growth?

As both the performance and GDP bonuses can only be known at the end of the year, is the PSD saying now that it just so happens to be exactly the same 77 per cent benchmark announced in April?

Is the performance bonus different for different ministers?

If so, then saying that "The total annual pay for ministers includes all bonuses, such as the 13th-month payment, the average performance bonus and the (average?) GDP bonus", does not really answer the question as to whether any of the ministers have exceeded the private sector benchmark.

I would like to suggest that a break-down of the total remuneration of each and every minister be given, to put to rest the questions as to whether the private sector benchmark has been exceeded.

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