SINGAPORE: The Government will award public officers on the front line in the battle against COVID-19 with a special bonus of up to one month, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced in Parliament on Friday (Feb 28).
“This will include many healthcare officers in the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the restructured hospitals, and some officers in other front line agencies who have been directly involved,” he said.
Mr Heng, who is also Finance Minister, was wrapping up the debate on this year’s Budget.
Other public officers who have contributed significantly will be recognised in “appropriate ways”, he added.
“While we cannot thank them enough, we can show our appreciation and support in a tangible way,” he said.
Mr Heng also announced that all political office holders will take a one-month cut in their salary. All Members of Parliament will also take a one month cut in their allowance, and senior public service officers will take a half month pay cut, he said.
“The President has informed me that she will join in to take a similar one-month pay cut,” he said.
Singapore has been able to respond strongly and effectively to COVID-19 because there is strong trust between the people and the Government and the sense that “we are all in this together”, Mr Heng said.
To show solidarity with fellow Singaporeans, the political leadership will do its part, he said.
“In the weeks and months to come we will need to draw deeply on Singapore’s reserves of resilience trust and solidarity. This unity of purpose across our whole society is what will see us through these challenging times,” he said.