We must see ourselves as the number one place to live for exceptional people. We must be an exceptional country and for that, the pay of our political leaders must be exceptional. We want the best and we shall pay the best salary in the world to get the best talent the world can provide.
So far every suggestion and proposal for the minister’s salary is arbitrary. The logic is arbitrary logic, selective and some may say self serving. The team making the recommendation chose who they want to compare with, chose the criteria they want to ensure that the pay is still in the millions. Chose to treat ministers like employees, call it pragmatic or to be unkind, mercenary. Chose to motivate them like employees of a company instead of leaders of a country leading the people by their exemplary conduct and dedication.
Let me suggest another selective arbitrary proposal. Pick ten of the world’s top countries, on any criteria, logically should be first world or developed advanced countries, not kingdoms or sheikdoms, and take the salary of their heads of govt for reference. Include all the perks that are measurable and relevant. Forget about Air Force One. It is a stupid comparison.
Convert all their perks into monetary terms and add them to their salaries. At the end of the exercise, take the average number, in monetary terms, and pay them to our head of govt. The rest of the ministerial salary can be a percentage of that. No one then can argue that there is no real comparison because these leaders have other perks. We add in the perks.
I think this formula should provide a handsome income to our ministers. And make it clean, no more other incomes or perks or bonuses. It is arbitrary but arbitrarily fair and logical. And like the Worker’s Party suggested, make the total payout public. It cannot be a case of clean and transparent but cannot tell. There should be nothing to be ashamed of that cannot be made public. Unless all the claims of transparency and clean wage is hogwash. Please tell.
The only unfair bit is that the talents may not live up to it as our talents come from a small pool of self proclaimed elite. Nevermind, be generous and aim to be an exceptional country with exceptional leadership. It may look like an aspiration, an idealistic goal, but we need to start somewhere. And starting with an exceptional salary for our leaders is a good start in the right direction.