Not nearly enough

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.

4 comments for “Not nearly enough

  1. March 17, 2012 at 7:58 am

    Long, long overdue!

  2. March 17, 2012 at 8:25 am

    Could be worse. I blogged last year on the situation over the border in New South Wales where some years ago the government promised no forced redundancies in the public sector and ended up keeping nearly 400 people on the payroll who literally had no work. The longest length of time for being paid a full salary to not do a stroke of work was over 15 years, and as of last year it was costing the NSW taxpayers $16 million a year.

    You might not be surprised to hear that it was a Labor government. You might be surprised to hear that the Coalition government that formed last year after a long period of Labor running the state decided the best solution was to offer all the people being paid for nothing ten grand each if they’d kindly, pretty please, go do something else and stop drawing a salary for a job that was eliminated years ago. You certainly won’t be surprised to hear that many of them said no thanks, they’d prefer to carry on being paid for not having to go into the office and do anything.

  3. March 17, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    I doubt it will make as much difference as expected. In many places that use national scales it’s long been the habit to get around the problem by appointing to a higher scale point where the jobs are harder to fill. So Joe Bloggs applying in Hull starts at level 2 salary while his twin in Bristol is miraculously granted extra past experience and gets to start at level 3.

  4. wiggiatlarge
    March 17, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Does that mean all public servants?. After all MPs in the same areas(public servants) council chiefs?,no thought not.

Comments are closed.