The Public Service Division (PSD) released a statement today (17 Jun) announcing a mid-year Annual Variable Component of 0.5 month bonus plus a “special one-off” SG50 payment of $500 for all civil servants.

In addition, Division IV officers will also be receiving a wage increase of $30 in monthly salary, over and above their annual increment in 2015.

PSD explained that the Singapore economy grew by 2.6% on a year-on-year basis in the first quarter of 2015, faster than the 2.1% growth in the preceding quarter.

PSD also observed:

Global economic growth in 2015 is expected to come in marginally better than in 2014
Given the expected improvement in global economic conditions in 2015, externally-oriented sectors are likely to see improved growth prospects although sector-specific factors could weigh on the growth of some sectors
Ministry of Trade and Industry forecasts a GDP growth of 2% to 4% for 2015
On the labour front, unemployment remained low as the labour market remained tight.
Employment contracted in the first quarter of 2015 amid seasonal declines and sharper moderation in employment growth in the manufacturing and construction sectors and segments of the services sector
Against this backdrop, PSD said the Government has decided to pay a mid-year Annual Variable Component (AVC) of 0.5 month bonus.

“The Government also supports the National Wages Council’s (NWC) wage recommendations for low-wage workers. The Government will give a built-in wage increase of $30 in the monthly salaries of all Division IV civil servants. This will be in addition to their annual increment in 2015, and signals the Government’s continued commitment to help raise the salaries of low-wage civil servants,” it added.

It is expected that about 2,500 Division IV civil servants will benefit from this $30 wage increase, PSD said.

Most surprising of all, PSD said the Government will give a special one-off SG50 payment of $500 to all civil servants, “in recognition of their contribution towards nation building”.

The mid-year AVC, special one-off SG50 payment, and built-in wage increase for Division IV civil servants will be paid in July 2015.

“The mid-year payments were decided in close consultation with the public sector unions,” PSD clarified.

“The Government will decide on the year-end AVC payment for civil servants after taking into consideration Singapore’s economic performance in the second half of 2015.”

Altogether, about 82,000 civil servants are set to receive the special one-off bonus of $500. In total, this special SG50 bonus to the civil servants will cost taxpayers $41 million.

The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) under Minister Chan Chun Sing, said in a statement that it is “heartened” that its call for a special SG50 bonus was accepted.

With regard to the latest move by the Government, The Alternative View (TAV) commented (‘Is your children’s future worth only $500?‘) that the PAP is sparing no expense to “buy votes and win the next GE under the guise of celebrating S’pore’s jubilee year”.

“If S’poreans vote for them again because of this $500, it would be akin to taking the money and slapping themselves because this political model is just not sustainable,” TAV said.

“Is your children’s future worth only $500 which in effect represents a drop in the ocean considering the billions that this Government collects in the form of various taxes from ERP to COEs to Stamp Duties?”

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