In the breakdown of the newly-announced Budget 2016, an astonishing S$488 million will be spent on the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in 2016. This is an 11% increase from $439 million in FY2015. You may view the Budget breakdown here.

The PMO is designed to control key civil service organisations under the direct supervision of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Key organisations like the corruption bureau (CPIB) and Election Department which should be independent of political influence, are placed under the PM so he can dictate their scope of work even at a microscopic level. Many have questioned who is there to investigate the Prime Minister for corruption, and the actual answer is no one.

One of the most lavish spending in PMO is ministerial salaries, with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong alone drawing S$2.2 million a year – the world’s highest paid political salary. There are also around 15 Ministers of States under the PMO, which each of them drawing S$1.1 million a year.

The total cost of government is S$49 million a year excluding bonuses.

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New Singapore Cabinet cost S$49 million a year excluding bonuses