SINGAPORE — Pritam Singh, the newly appointed Leader of the Opposition (LO), will give half of his parliamentary allowance, after taxes, to charitable and community causes, as well as the Workers’ Party.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday evening (28 July), the WP chief said that he would allocate 50 per cent of the LO’s $385,000 annual salary, after taxes, for the following purposes:
Assist low-income residents in Hougang Single Member Constituency, Aljunied Group Representation Constituency and Sengkang GRC through the Workers’ Party Community Fund (WPCF) and/or the WP Grassroots Committee
Community programs in Hougang SMC, Aljunied GRC, Sengkang GRC
Charitable or worthy causes
Workers’ Party specific needs.
“While I am grateful to receive the additional support and remuneration that comes with the title of Leader of the Opposition, the appointment will require more investment of my time and longer hours away from my family,” said Singh, who made the decision following a discussion with his wife.
“Amongst other things, we spoke about what the salary increase would mean for our family. Both of us felt strongly that a percentage of the salary should be used for a greater purpose.”
Singh later clarified on his post, “For clarity, 50% of the additional LO salary amounting to about $96K per annum is dedicated to the above purposes. The actual amount will be less after income tax deduction. It is important I make this clear.”
Earlier on Tuesday, the offices of the Speaker of Parliament and Leader of the House said that Singh will “generally be given the right of first response among Members of Parliament (MPs)” and receive confidential briefings by the government on “select matters of national security and external relations, and in the event of a national crisis or emergency”.
Among other privileges, the 43-year-old will also receive double the allowance of an elected MP, with a total annual package of $385,000, inclusive of his MP allowance.
Following the joint statement, Singh said in a Facebook post that he will reveal more details on the approach that the WP will take in Parliament over the next term during the debate on the President’s address to Parliament next month.
Singh also said he will confer with the two Non-Constituency Members of Parliament from the Progress Singapore Party and extend his support to them as well.
In 2013, WP Members of Parliament contributed $1,000 per month from their $15,000 allowance towards a fund to purchase their current headquarters in Geylang Road.
People's Action Party MPs also reportedly contribute about a tenth of their monthly allowance to the party, while Ministers contribute more.
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