This unexpected generosity comes after the 5 to 12 percent increases announced for Home Team officers recently, and public sector nurses have been promised 5 to 20 percent over the next two years.
The Public Service Division (PSD) cited factors like economic growth, despite the published fact that GDP growth is nowhere within smelling range of 5 percent.
Based on advance estimates in July 2014, the Singapore economy grew by 2.1 per cent on a year-on-year basis in the second quarter of 2014, slower than the 4.7 per cent growth in the previous quarter. On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted annualised basis, the economy contracted by 0.8 per cent, a reversal from the 1.6 per cent growth in the preceding quarter.
Another line used is the keep up with the Joneses in the private-sector argument. At least one dissenting voice shot this down, "I don't think civil servants are lagging behind the private sector." The CEO of the Center for Executive Education felt the PSD should "clearly articulate and provide the information on how extensive its private-sector salary data study was and what industry level it benchmarked salaries to."
The Home Team showed its true colours at Little India. The nurses' hard work are marred by horror stories of how a woman died because her aspirator was not switched on, and a grandma with an assigned ward and bed number who had to spend the night in a hospital corridor. Nobody really knows what the non-graduate civil servants do, since we assume policy making is in the powerful hands of the superscale permanent secretaries. However, we do see lots of helpers manning the balloting centers during a general election.