The Central Personnel Administration (CPA) said yesterday that it was “evidently improper” to cut the salaries of top government officials amid the economic downturn, as South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong have recently done.
“The salary level for senior civil servants is relatively lower in comparison with Hong Kong and Singapore, and the salary structure [in the four places] is totally different. In view of this, their experiences are for reference only and can’t be transplanted into this country,” the CPA said.
On Tuesday, the government of Hong Kong announced that salaries for high-ranking civil servants would be cut by 5.38 percent from next month, following the approach adopted by their counterparts in South Korea and Singapore.
The new monthly salary for a ministerial-level official in Hong Kong would be NT$1.3 million (US$39,900), seven times higher than the monthly payment of NT$185,000 a ministerial-level official in Taiwan, while a Singaporean minister’s annual income is NT$20 million, much higher than the NT$2.5 million of their counterparts in Taiwan, the CPA said.
“We have no plan to cut salaries for high-level civil servants for the moment,” the CPA said in a statement in response to calls for the government to follow suit.
The statement said: “Since the government raised civil servants’ salaries by 3 percent in 2005, their salaries have remained the same for four years.”
The CPA said that complaints have been filed by civil servants that the increase in commodity prices over the years has made their salaries inadequate, but the government did not accept the request as it wished civil servants to stick with the public in difficult times.
“It’s the global economic situation that has encumbered the growth of the country. It’s not a problem that can be resolved through cutting salaries of civil servants and a few other people. What is urgent for the government is to cut back unnecessary spending and enhance economic development to improve people’s livelihood,” the CPA said.