I felt it was like a page out of George Orwell’s novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four” when the British Colombian government announced its very generous pay raise to some of their bureaucrats yesterday. CBC Radio said that this was almost perfect timing to make such an announcement. “I agree,” and I too thought to my self that it was a very sneaky, and under handed way of telling the voters about this announcement right on the same day that the Chinese Olympic opening ceremonies were also being held. So many emotions raced through my mind when I heard this on the news that I just had to blog about it. Why are bureaucrats getting raises of up to 22 to 43 percent when we have inflation and the markets are in a downturn around the world?
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation had this to say on their web site today:
VANCOUVER: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) says the massive pay hikes for B.C. deputy and assistant deputy ministers show the provincial government is out-of-touch with taxpayers ability to continue to pay for an expanding public sector.
The province says its new pay schedule for executive level public service employees will bring B.C. more in line with other jurisdictions across Canada. Deputy minister’s salaries increased by 35%, from $221,760 to $299,215 and the deputy minister to the Premier’s salary by 43%, from $243,936 to $348,600. The maximum achievable salary for assistant deputy ministers increased by 22%, from $160,000 to $195,000… [Article Source]
Like the governments of today when they put “The Spin” on controversial decisions in the media, in “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” the “Ministry of True” had to invent, or twist the words around by playing with semantics, to hide what was really going on, or at least dampen the effect of the truth. Right now I see a government that is hoping very few people will be paying attention because of the Olympics and slip this news right in front of the noses of each and every taxpayer.
So why the big raises? The government’s first response that I heard on the news was that most of the senior bureaucrats are close to retiring and that they want to encourage the best and brightest to fill the upcoming voids. Well, I argue that these are bureaucratic job positions, not private job postings in some corporation that has shareholders and exists only for profits. And because these are positions of power, people are going to be to running for them like a herd of Lemmings to fill them when they do become available. This is the government; laws and tax money are doled out by these people, and bureaucrats make it happen.
Taxpayers are flipping the bill here–our hard earned money I might add–so I really think that this is not a good time and place to give out generous pay raises. I remember when this government said the same thing about the previous government with their bureaucrats–Yes, I never forgot about that either. Do you think that it is OK to give out a 40 percent pay raise to a bureaucrat?