Civil service wins 11pc pay increase

Catherine Ng

CIVIL service pay is to rise by more than 11 per cent, Executive Councillors decided yesterday, adding an additional $7.13 billion to the Government's annual salaries budget.

Senior civil servants earning $34,691 a month or more will see their salary go up by 9.98 per cent, while more junior staff will get 10.14 per cent extra.

However, when added to the merit increment most civil servants receive, the actual increase for senior, middle and lower ranking staff will be 11.38, 11.36 and 11.19 per cent respectively.

Among the beneficiaries is former police commissioner Li Kwan-ha. Although Mr Li stood down last July, he remains on the government payroll until his back leave expires next month. His last month's pay will go up from $143,000 to $157,300.

The Chief Secretary, Anson Chan Fang On-sang, will see her monthly salary jump from $171,000 to about $188,000.

The increases are in line with the private sector-based Pay Trends Survey - the Government's traditional marker for setting civil service salaries - which last month recommended rises of 11.38, 11.36 and 10.66 per cent.

Secretary for Civil Service, Michael Sze Cho-cheung, denied the increases could lead to higher inflation, currently running at about 9.5 per cent. The civil service was such a small part of the jobs sector the increases would not have a knock-on effect, he said.

The news was welcomed by representatives of the civil service staff associations.