Pay hike: A necessity

Singapore December 16th, 2007

Senior Minister Goh has commented about the ministerial pay hike and affirmed that there can never be a better time to raise the pay of ministers and senior civil servants, his inclusive.

The reason he cited was in line with the party whip, that is is necessary so as to attract and retain good people into the service – that by pegging their pay to that of the private sector, good and capable people may consider giving the civil service a shot.


SENIOR Minister Goh Chok Tong said there is never a good time to implement salary increases for ministers and senior public servants, but he felt this had to be done.

Speaking at the end of a week-long visit to Vietnam, he acknowledged the concerns over the timing of the second phase of salary increases announced on Thursday, especially when inflation has risen.

‘It’s never going to be popular and you’re not going to win votes with it. But when the PM asked for my view, I said ‘proceed’.’

The latest salary hikes are the second part of the pay adjustments announced in March and debated in Parliament in April. The first part of the increase was made in April.

The changes are part of the Government’s continuing efforts to retain talent by benchmarking their pay to top earners in the private sector.

Reiterating this, Mr Goh said the increases will ensure that the salaries of public servants are competitive with those in the private sector – not just for this generation, but for Singapore’s future leaders and administrators.

‘If we do not adjust our salaries, these people will say: If I go outside, my pay will be much more than this immediately.’

He cited the example of former minister of state Cedric Foo, who has returned to the private sector on better terms.

Roger Mitton

Article obtained from on 16th December 2007

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