In an unprecedented move Singapore ministers, including the President of Singapore Halimah Yacob have taken a voluntary pay cut while awarding bonuses to frontline workers in a solid act of solidarity with the populace.
Setting a brilliant example amid the Covid-19 crisis, all political office holders in Singapore are taking a one-month pay cut, while public health officers on the frontlines will get up to one additional month of bonus.
Deputy Prime Minister(DPM) and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced this in his wrap-up speech at the end of the Budget 2020 debate.
Members of Parliament (MP’s), ministers will have their allowance cut by one month while some senior public officers will have their pay cut by half a month. President Halimah Yacob has also volunteered to join them and take a one-month pay cut, DPM Heng said.
Meanwhile many healthcare officers at the Ministry of Health, the restructured hospitals, as well as some officers at other frontline agencies who have been directly involved in battling Covid-19, will get up to one additional month of bonus for their efforts in fighting the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak in Singapore.
This is a “tangible”way for the government to show their solidarity with fellow Singaporeans and appreciation of those who have been on the frontlines of the fight against coronavirus, DPM Heng said.
Public Health Preparedness (PHP) clinics will receive a one-off Covid-19 grant to support them for their active role of caring for patients with respiratory symptoms while other public officers who have contributed significantly will be recognised in appropriate ways, Heng added.
“This gesture, plus the many words of encouragement and acts of consideration and kindness is our way to express to you we salute you,” Heng said.
“Singapore has been able to respond strongly and effectively to COVID-19 because there is strong trust between the people and the Government, and the sense that we are all in this together”, said DPM Heng.
The DPM who is also the Finance Minister had announced financial measures worth S$6.4 billion (US$4.6 billion) to help the economy cope with the impact of the coronavirus outbreak just last week.
“Our citizens and institutions all play a part: Enterprises and senior managements standing with unions and our workers, landlords supporting tenants, neighbours looking out for one another, political leaders working hand in hand with the public service and the people, to do everything that will help us see this problem through together”, DPM Heng said.
Singapore has 96 confirmed coronavirus cases of which 66 people have recovered.