Denmark’s PM paid 6x less than PM Lee, still the least corrupt country in the world

The Prime Minister of Denmark is the head of government in the Kingdom of Denmark. Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Denmark’s 25th Prime Minister has been in office since June 2015, previously holding the position from 2009 to 2011, and as Leader of the centre-right liberal Venstre party since 2009.

Denmark PM’s salary relative to PM Lee’s

PM Rasmussen’s annual salary amounts to approximately 1.458 million Danish Krone (~SGD 306,000). This puts his salary at one-sixth that of Singapore’s PM Lee Hsien Loong (SGD 2.2 million).

The average gross salary in Denmark is Kr 522,657 per annum (Average Salary Survey, 2017/18). Denmark’s PM earns approximately 2.87 times that amount.

In Singapore, the average gross salary per annum is SGD 67,152. PM Lee earns a whopping 32 times that amount.

Debunking the myths

If the PAP Government’s line of reasoning held true, Denmark would have a tough time attracting capable leaders for political office, in addition to suffering from endemic corruption in its civil service. However, the truth couldn’t be further.

Denmark is consistently ranked among the top 5 least corrupt countries in the world by Transparency International, a global corruption watchdog. In fact, Denmark has been ranked “#1 least corrupt” for seven out of the last ten years on this index. This puts the country ahead of Singapore (6th).

Image result for danish students

Denmark’s population, at 5.7 million is almost identical to Singapore’s. If the argument that high political salaries are needed to attract the right talent amid a small population pool, that certainly doesn’t hold true for Denmark. The Economic Intelligence Unit consistently ranks Denmark in the top 5-10% of countries for political stability. Denmark is also ranked 5th in the world according to the UN’s Human Development Index, on par with Singapore’s ranking. Such accolades are only achievable because of effective governance, and Denmark has accomplished this without the need for so-called “competitive salaries” in the millions.

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