Well I must admit it took them long enough, but the government are rumoured to have finally gotten around to scrapping public sector national rates, or rather they might in the budget. Just the hint that he might has brought howls of rage from the public sector unions…
Chancellor George Osborne is expected to reveal plans to scrap public sector national pay rates in the Budget.
He is thought to have backed the plan after Treasury research found people in public sector roles earn, on average, 8% more than their private sector counterparts across England and Wales.
Local factors, such as the cost of living and private sector pay rates, are now set to be taken into account.
The Public and Commercial Services union said it opposed the plans.
Now I don’t exactly blame them for howling, after all it was a nice little earner for their members where basically London rates were applied across the country. There’s also the rumour that in the private sector people actually worked for their money rather than simply turned up, yes I know it didn’t apply in all areas, but there are enough tales out there of people sitting in a place waiting to retire because it would be too expensive to simply remove them or retrain them, not something that tends to happen in the private sector.
Not that this will do much to cut the waste in the public sector, there are still far too many placemen collecting a wage for doing something unnecessary, the entire government based race industry for one and I’m sure we could do without the Department for International Development altogether.
Still getting wage negotiations down to a local level will help, certainly taking into account local conditions will, be an advantage, after all…
A PCS spokesman told the BBC it is “opposed” to the plans because such a move “will drive down pay in the regions”.
He added that the public sector could find it harder to “recruit and retain staff”.
I’m sure areas where the staff are really needed will pay the going rate, or perhaps put some services out to tender as they did in New Zealand where they cut back the tendrils of state so that the government local and national simply facilitated what their voter required, all else was handled by private contract.
It remains a fact though that the state is far too large and far too intrusive. It devours income from the private sector and wastes it on unnecessary expenditure and administration, often enough tying the private sector down with unnecessary regulation that is simply not needed or desired.
The problem with government as ever is they tend to prune back the state, whereas what’s really needed is to take a chainsaw to it.