6th June 2023 – (Hong Kong) After being hit hard by the pandemic for the past three years, Hong Kong’s economy has been suffering from consecutive deficits, with an overall economic contraction of 3.5% in 2022. The new government expects a comprehensive deficit of HK$139.8 billion for this fiscal year. Following two years of frozen salaries, civil servants received a uniform increase of 2.5% last year, which was criticised by the business community as “out of touch with reality.” However, recent reports suggest that the government has approved a salary adjustment plan for civil servants.
The salary adjustment for civil servants is usually based on the results of a pay trend survey, with most middle and lower-level civil servants receiving consistent salary adjustments. The Salary Trend Survey Committee recently released this year’s survey results, with salary adjustments of 2.87% for high-level civil servants, 4.65% for middle-level civil servants, and 4.5% for low-level civil servants.
Last year’s survey results showed that low-level and middle-level civil servants received salary increases of 2.04% and 4.55%, respectively, while high-level civil servants received a salary increase of up to 7.26%, which was widely criticized as being “out of touch with reality.” Eventually, the government approved a uniform increase of 2.5% for all civil servants, which was still considered a “contrarian salary increase.” If the government approves this year’s survey results, it will be the second consecutive year of salary increases.
According to data, civil servants’ salaries have been frozen six times and reduced four times since 2000, all during times of economic crisis in Hong Kong.