PM Lee, ministers to take 3-month pay cut

DPM Heng Swee Keat pledged that the Government will lead the way in the fight against Covid-19. ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

The Prime Minister, Cabinet ministers and other political office-holders - as well as the President - will take a three-month pay cut to show solidarity with Singaporeans in this difficult time, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said yesterday.

Mr Heng, who is also Finance Minister, said that political office-holders will take an additional two-month pay cut on top of the one-month pay cut announced at the end of last month's Budget debate, in the light of the deteriorating situation caused by the coronavirus.

"The President, Speaker and both Deputy Speakers have informed me that they will join in and take a similar three-month pay cut in total," said Mr Heng, as he delivered the supplementary budget.

"It is in times of crisis that the true character of a nation can be seen," he added. "We are all in this together, and we must all look after one another in these trying times."

Mr Heng noted that the whole of Singapore has come together in response to the coronavirus, alongside healthcare and front-line workers. These include the private sector and individuals, who are providing encouragement and, crucially, complying with health advisories and practising safe distancing.

Many have also had to make difficult adjustments to their lives such as undergoing quarantine, cancelling celebrations and putting off long-awaited plans like weddings, said Mr Heng.

The Government will stand with Singaporeans during this trying time, he added. "The Government and the political leadership are in this with Singaporeans," he said.

"We share the worries and anxieties of Singaporeans, and we will do our best for you. We will walk with every Singaporean, through every up and down."

Mr Heng said the months ahead will not be easy as the situation continues to evolve dynamically and unpredictably. He added: "We will protect and advance the well-being and livelihoods of Singaporeans. We will take care of our people. We will leave no one behind."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 27, 2020, with the headline PM Lee, ministers to take 3-month pay cut. Subscribe