Are there errors in budget statements or are ministerial salaries much higher than disclosed?

Last month, DPM Teo told Singaporeans that the PAP-approved ministerial pay review committee had recommended a $100,000 increase in the annual salary for an entry-level minister to $1.2 million, among other recommendations.  CNA

Despite having ‘sound’ justifications for the increase, the recommendations were rejected by the government with Teo giving a ‘funny’ reason.  Ministers’ pay will hentak kaki for 5 more years, we are told.

3 years ago, the same DPM also said the same thing: entry-level ministers should be earning $1.2 million but the PAP had decided to forgo the increase. (Asiaone)

If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  And budget statements appear to have confirmed Teo’s we-are-not-after-money PAP wayang. 😉

According to the PMO expenditure estimates (page 173 and 174), there are 8 political appointments in FY2016, FY2017 and FY2018 earning between $17.05 million (actual) and $16.6 million (revised).

This works out to an average of more than $2 million per political appointment but is clearly incorrect: the only person earning above $2 million is PM Lee and a MOS earns only $770,000.

In FY2017, political appointment holders were paid $16,594,200 (revised figure).  However, a detailed breakdown (table below) confirms the expenditure should have been only $12,045,000. (based on a 20 months’ annual salary)
Shouldn’t political appointments should have cost much less; by $4.5 million. ($16.5 million less $12 million)
1ministerpay7aaThe discrepancy is even larger in FY2016 because of the higher expenditure of $17 million coupled with having only 2 ministers instead of 3.

Does PMO have more than 8 political appointment holders?
Why are they not disclosed?
Or is the government trying to conceal obscene bonuses paid to ministers, ie to offset the loss of income after the 2011 ministerial pay review?

PAP should disclose salaries paid to all political appointment holders.  PMO’s budget statements appear to be ‘erroneous’: 8 political appointments could not have cost taxpayers $17 million in FY2016.

Over to you, PAP.

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