Date
18 November 2017
Lau Kong-wah, secretary for home affairs, Eddie Ng, secretary for education and Chan Mo-Po, secretary for development (from left) are up for hefty raises. Photo: HKEJ
Lau Kong-wah, secretary for home affairs, Eddie Ng, secretary for education and Chan Mo-Po, secretary for development (from left) are up for hefty raises. Photo: HKEJ

Govt. proposes 12.4% pay hike for bureau directors

The government is proposing a 12.4 percent salary increase for bureau directors in the 2017 term of office and an adjustment mechanism tracking the consumer price index, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Raymond Tam said the proposal is a recognition of service as pay levels have been frozen for 14 years.

Tam said lawmakers have seen their pay rise by 72.4 percent during the period.

If implemented, the salary increase will be the first since the political appointments system was introduced in 2002.

In 2007, politically appointed undersecretaries and political assistants were added to the system.

According to Tam, the salary adjustment will also apply to them as their salary level has remained unchanged since the posts were created.

In 2009, top government officials accepted a voluntary pay cut of 5.38 percent.

An independent commission recommended an 8.1 percent salary increase for officials in 2012 but the government later announced a pay freeze.

Last year, CY Leung’s administration restored the 2002 pay scales which translated into a pay rise for senior officials.

Leung Chau-ting, chairman of the Hong Kong Federation of Civil Service Union, said the proposed increases are too steep and would hurt the morale of civil servants, Apple Daily reports.

Leung urged the Legco Finance Committee to carefully vet the proposals.

He questioned whether bureau directors truly deserve such a huge increase when mainstream civil servants are only getting a raise of less than 5 percent a year.

Lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting said many of the directors such as Eddie Ng and Lau Kong-wah deserve to be fired, rather than given a raise, for poor performance.

Fellow legislator Claudia Mo said the proposal is ridiculous, adding that even someone like Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man would not deserve a pay rise, let alone the rest of the pack.

Mo pledged to oppose the proposal in the Legislative Council.

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