Hong Kong Chief Executive’s Pay Ranks Second in the World, Secretaries Salaries Exceed Those of Top UK and USA Officials

By Nie Law
Nie Law
Nie Law
and Ying Cheung
Ying Cheung
Ying Cheung
August 9, 2022 Updated: August 9, 2022

The Hong Kong government has been adhering to the high salary and integrity principle. The salary for the Chief Executive is one of the best in the world.

Recently, the Chief Executive Office and several policy bureaus responded to the media, announcing the salaries of the Chief Executive and accountable officials.

John Lee Ka-chiu, who took office in July this year, has a monthly salary of HK$452,200 (approx. US$57,608), an increase of over HK$30,000 (approx. US$3,800) than former Carrie Lam HK$420,000 (approx. US$53,500).

The updated annual salaries of top civil servants in Hong Kong, have increased according to the Consumer Price Index C in May.

Eric Chan Kwok-ki, Chief Secretary for Administration, HK$401,950 (approx. US$51,207);
Paul Chan Mo-po, Financial Secretary, HK$388,350 (approx. US$49,474);
Paul Lam Ting-kwok, Secretary for Justice, HK$375,200 (approx. US$47,798).

Salary Ranks Second in the World

The monthly pay for Chief Executive is one of the best in the world. It is now the second next to the Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong, who has HK$1,040,000 (approx. US$132,492) per month. Even the income of Hong Kong government secretaries exceeds that of the leaders of some developed countries.

Current monthly salaries of some of the top leaders in the world:

  • Joe Biden, U.S. President, HK$ 260,000 (approx. US$33,123)
  • Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the UK, HK$130,000 (approx. US$16,561)
  • Prime Minister of Japan, HK$120,000 (approx. US$15,288)
  • President of the Republic of China, HK$130,000 (approx. US$16,561).

Sanctioned by the US

In addition, the Chief Executive can receive a monthly non-reimbursable allowance of HK$81,866 (approx. US$10,429) for expenses on business hospitality at the official residence. The Secretary for Administration and the Financial Secretary have HK$40,958 (approx. US$5,218) and HK$31,392 (approx. US$3,999) per month, respectively.

As sanctioned by the U.S Department of the Treasury in August 2020, the former Chief Executive Carrie Lam, the then Secretary for Security now Chief Executive Lee Ka-chiu, could not use banking services.

Carrie Lam had said that the government had to pay her HK$420,000 (approx. US$53,500) every month in cash when she was in office. Lam said at a press conference that she had a “pile of cash” at home.

During the Chief Executive election campaign, John Lee collected more than HK$11,260,000 (approx. US$1,434,477) of election donations in cash. He said that he had bought a safe and banknote counting machine. During his time in office, the government is expected to pay his monthly salary of HK$452,200 (approx. US$57,608) in cash.

Nie Law
Ying Cheung