Business chamber opposes civil servant payrise - RTHK
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Business chamber opposes civil servant payrise

2022-05-26 HKT 13:59
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  • The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce says the private sector will find it hard to keep up with the proposed pay rises for civil servants. Image: Shutterstock
    The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce says the private sector will find it hard to keep up with the proposed pay rises for civil servants. Image: Shutterstock
The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce on Thursday appealed against the pay rises recommended for civil servants, saying they “do not reflect the current economic climate”.

The government-appointed Pay Trend Survey Committee earlier suggested a pay increase of 2.04 percent for junior civil servants, 4.55 percent for middle-level staff and 7.26 percent for senior government workers, after considering data from the 12 months since April last year.

In a statement, the chamber said the period covered by the survey was when Hong Kong had mostly kept Covid-19 at bay and businesses were optimistic.

The chamber pointed out that thanks to the fifth wave of the coronavirus outbreak, local businesses have gone through strict restrictions and hardship, adding the city’s economy saw a year-on-year contraction of four percent in the first quarter of this year.

It also noted that many businesses were suffering from a brain drain and manpower shortage.

"To be discussing such a scale of pay increases at this time is out of touch with reality," it said in a statement.

"Businesses, especially public bodies, NGOs and SMEs, will be under strong pressure and find it hard to match Government salaries to retain staff," the chamber added.

It urged the government to consider the potential ripple effect from the recommended civil servant pay rise, saying it could add to the sufferings of businesses.