Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Government Proposes 12.4% Pay Rise

Senior Hong Kong government officials will be eyeing a double-digit pay rise
Hong Kong's top officials can expect a 12.4 percent pay rise next year, the first increase in 15 years.

The government added that it was getting harder to attract talent because of the city's political atmosphere.

This I find strange since I know a few people who have managed to get government positions, making it still a very sought-after job. Granted they are not senior positions, but if they do well they can get promoted and in turn get better pay.

Many are turning to civil servant positions because of the high salaries and this year it looks like employers are only going to give out 4 percent pay rises, if that.

Carrie Lam is the highest paid government official
Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Raymond Tam Chi-yuen said the proposed double-digit pay rise was "very moderate and reasonable", and "only fair", given that salaries for top officials had remained frozen since 2002.

The pay rise factors in cumulative inflation since 2012, and there will be a new mechanism to adjust the top officials' pay annually in line with the consumer price index used for households in the relatively high expenditure range, similar to the renumeration for Legislative Council members.

How nice to have a salary that increases along with inflation...

So a political assistant will get around HK$104,000 a month, while a minister currently gets HK$298,000. The chief secretary is the highest paid minister at HK$330,000.

While the proposal will be debated in Legco next Monday, some lawmakers aren't convinced senior ministers deserve it.

Does the government know many of us won't get pay rises?
"Few ministers have been truly accountable to Hong Kong citizens," said Wu Chi-wai, the new chief of the Democratic Party said of the 12.4 percent pay rise. "The popularity of several ministers remains unacceptably low. We cannot make a decision just on the grounds that the growth in their pay lags behind inflation."

The independent commission that was tasked to come up with the pay recommendations noted there was no mechanism currently for annual pay adjustments and that ministers' salaries had fallen below the level of public sector pay, while remaining significantly lower than that of the private sector.


Do these people putting these recommendations not know how the average citizen in Hong Kong makes per month? It's hardly in the six digits.

If economic times are good, then maybe we can talk about pay rises. But the economy has been stagnant this past year, and will be in the next two years, and the government is not doing enough to clamp down on rising rents, getting developers to build more low-income housing, encouraging small businesses or helping the poor.

There needs to be some evidence to show the government has served the people well before getting a well-deserved pay rise.

Many would agree that the government seems even more out of touch as ever, as evidenced by this proposal for a double digit pay rise when many of us will be lucky to have one, if at all.


  1. First of all, it's not as though many senior government officials have been doing that great a job. Secondly, no wonder they can't seem to understand regular Hong Kong people when their salaries are so ridiculously high (Among other things, the Chief Executive is paid more than the American President)!

    1. Hi YTSL -- I'm sure many people would like to have their salary tied to inflation!