Public sector salaries and perks have soared. Almost three-quarters of a million employees have been added to the State's payroll. All manner of new and mostly ridiculous jobs have been invented. Fresh rights have been conferred on some deserving people and many undeserving ones.Tink he’s talking about the ‘Guardian’s’ jobs page? Yup, me too...….
Now, however, the party is finished. In a bewildering world, the only certainty is that we are going to be worse off. For the next two or three years, many - myself included - accept that there is an irresistible case for high public spending to keep the economy moving, as consumer expenditure falls.And not ‘Diversity Outreach Communications Co-ordinator’ roles for newly graduated social studies students…
But this must be directed exclusively towards infrastructure projects that will make Britain stronger and more competitive when it recovers from recession.
Henceforward, we need real investment, which means things we can still see when the dust clears.Preach it, Max!
Alongside this, there must be a purge, cull, massacre of all the crazy public spending, non-jobs and social projects which have become a dead-weight on Britain. If once we could afford a 'street football co-ordinator' in Moray, Scotland, at a cost of £19,887 a year, we can do so no longer. If ever it seemed acceptable for Lambeth to seek an 'enviro-crime enforcement officer' at up to £30,774, it is not now.
The North-West Development Agency spent £90,000 on representation at last year's political party conferences.
Braintree Council has advertised for a 'climate change manager' at £38,556 a year. Hertfordshire County Council has sought a 'head of participation and inclusiveness' at up to £42,197.
Now the gravy train is heading towards the buffers, we just can’t afford to soak up ‘jobs’ like these anymore. And yet the pepers are still full of them, and where jobs are being cut in the public sector, they are front line, useful jobs. Not back-room box tickers and form fillers.
Today, much of the nation's anger is focused upon bankers, whose doings make the Great Train Robbery look like an honest day's work. But soon, very soon, the scandal of public sector pay and perks, along with reckless spending projects, will provoke even greater passion.Indeed, it’s often a factor of blogs such as ’Inspector Gadget’ and to a lesser extent, ’The Magistrate’s Blog’.
Most public sector workers are hardworking people fulfilling vital roles in society - nurses, teachers, policemen and so on. But they themselves can hardly relish the spectacle of scarce national resources being squandered on others, State-employed drones performing non-jobs.
State employees once enjoyed more security than private sector workers, while receiving less money. Under Labour, this has changed.But at the top of the public sector tree, rewards are almost comparable. Certainly, I don’t see anyone calling for the pension to be stripped from any of the top mandarins the way they do for Sir Fred…
The Pensions Policy Institute reports that while average private sector pay stands at £25,300, average public sector pay has risen to £25,600, with far more generous pension terms. Only at the top of the tree are private sector rewards much larger.
Gordon Brown's most pernicious legacy as Chancellor is that he has burdened the shrinking profit-making part of the economy with an unsustainable commitment to the privileges of State employees, whom he recruited in industrial quantities.Which is unsustainable.
Given the dominance of State employment in Labour's Celtic dependencies, the English face having to work overtime to support an army of Scottish, Welsh and, above all, Northern Irish public servants.
We must repeat the mantra again and again to our rulers: it is over, over, over.So, Max, who do I vote for to end this? And please, don’t tell me ‘Cameron’s the man!’.
As a society, we can no longer afford State employees, starting with ministers, who write cheques on the nation without thought for the simple truth that we are broke.
Because he isn’t. Is he?