The debate on the Ministerial Salary has started. A brief description of what I heard and read is that everything about high ministerial salary is for the good of the country and people. There is nothing about self serving.
The island needs strong, good and capable leaders. And how to get them is through paying them well. The ministers and MPs are arguing for more money not for themselves, but for the country and the people. Bad leadership will turn the country upside down overnight. They are preparing the groundwork for future able leaders to come on stage.
Bad leaders are likely to be corrupt and self serving. Only more money can keep them from being corrupt and self serving. Like the gardener, pay him less and he will help himself with the apples to make himself richer. It is human instinct, natural human traits.
The choice of not comparing with foreign leader’s salary is that they are getting much more in undisclosed perks. Ours is clean and everyone knows how much our leaders are getting, from the types of allowances, the number of months of bonuses, the other appointments etc etc. All their income is clean and transparent. These are nothing compare to what foreign leaders are getting in other kinds of perks.
Pegging them to the top 1000 income earners has a logic, not arbitrary. We need people from this group of high income earners to step forward to serve. Never mind that this group of people are high achievers and not really in need of additional money to live on. Many would have been comfortable for life without having to earn another cent. But there is a need to be fair to them, to their families, that their lifestyle is not affected by stepping forward to serve the people and country. The high salary is for this purpose, to attract these people, to tell them that they will not lose out in monetary terms.
Not all people are altruistic and selfless. We got to be pragmatic and realistic. People who made a lot of money are motivated by money. And it is good to provide more monetary incentives to motivate them to work better which will end up better for the people. Bonuses, variable bonuses will be a good start to lure these people into public service, like bait in a mouse trap. We used to have daft and selfless people coming out to serve the country. But that generation of leaders is over. We are living in a brave new world where the ethos is self first. We must accept this and the high salary for ministers is really a recognition of a new reality.
The people must support this high salary recommendation. It is good for the country and people as we go forward. We are talking about the future leadership, about the well being of our children. There is nothing self serving to support such a recommendation.