Worker's Party's Low Thia Khiang had pointed out that the combined salaries of political appointment holders had been revised from $58.3 million to $75.7 million, a 30% jump. "Unfortunately, the income of Singaporeans do not grow 30% just like that," he said.
Rebutting, Teo quoted Low's speech in 2007 as acceptance of benchmarking and variable pay:
""While we accept that basic salary may be benchmarked broadly with the private sector in line with international practice, we believe that performance pay should also be introduced to established a visible correlation between performance and pay."
Teo failed to grasp Low's premise on performance: Home Affairs Ministers are supposed to keep terrorists safely locked up, Ministers of Environment are supposed to keep the streets flood-free, Ministers of Education are supposed to keep schools free from horny principals and teaching staff, Ministers of Defence are supposed to make sure helicopters don't drop from the sky, Ministers of National Development are supposed to provide affordable housing, etc. Guess which lot is still laughing all the way to the bank?
Teo refers to a decision in 2007, made before the financial meltdown of 2008-2009. Obviously a changed world is not factored in their private plans for personal asset enhancement. One doubts the salaries of the high fliers actually suffered a 18- to 22.5% reduction as he claims. They may have missed out on the GDP bonus payments for 2009 and 2010, but were their base salaries adjusted downwards when those in the private sector lost jobs and suffered pay cuts? Anybody has access to IRAS records?
In 2007 the politically damaging outcry over the proposed huge pay rises resulted in Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong pledging to donate his own increase to "worthwhile causes" for the next 5 years. He also announced that he would, by 2011, name a successor to take over in 10 years’ time. On wonders if Teo's selective memory recall includes any of those promises.