Ministerial salary review 2023 deferred due to other 'pressing issues', will be conducted 'in due course'

Minister Chan Chun Sing said there were other more pressing matters for the government, such as geopolitical and economic issues.

Daniel Seow | January 10, 2024, 01:42 PM



The government deferred reviewing the salaries for its ministers and other political office holders in 2023 due to other "pressing issues", such as having to deal with the more uncertain geopolitical and economic climate last year, Minister Chan Chun Sing revealed in a written parliamentary reply on Jan. 10, 2024.

He was replying on behalf of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to questions raised by Progress Singapore Party's (PSP) Non-constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) Hazel Poa and People's Action Party (PAP) MP Alex Yam.

Yam asked if the government would proceed with the salary review.

Poa asked for details on who would comprise the review committee, what are the terms of reference given to them and when their report would be released.

In January 2023, Chan announced that the government aimed to carry out the review in 2023.

Salary review deferred due to "other pressing matters at hand"

"In 2023, the global geopolitical situation has become more uncertain, with conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine and continuing heightened geopolitical contestation," Chan explained.

Chan added that significant uncertainties and downside risks in the global economy have impacted Singapore's economy and its wage and inflation outlooks.

"Hence, we decided to focus on dealing with these key challenges at hand and defer the review of political salaries for now," he said.

As for the upcoming review of the political salaries framework and benchmark, Chan said it would be conducted "in due course to ensure that they remain relevant and up to date".

No changes made to ministerial salaries since 2018

The current ministerial pay structure has been in place since an independent committee's White Paper in 2012.

As of 2012, the reference monthly salary (mid-point of the range) of an MR4 Minister was S$55,000, according to the Public Service Division.

The last Committee to Review Ministerial Salaries was formed in 2017 by PM Lee.

After the review, then-Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean announced in March 2018 that the government decided to freeze ministerial salaries for the next five years.

Chan said the government has not changed political salaries following the review in 2018.

"The salary structure remained valid, and there were economic uncertainties in the previous few years," he explained.

The committee also recommended a review of the political salaries framework about every five years, Chan said.

Top image from MCI / YouTube.