Kudos to The Morning Star for the recent article on public sector salaries. Those who took the time to read it will now have some idea why this province’s finances are in such a bad state.
Over a million a year for the head of a public utility? Half a million for the CEO of the BC Pavillion Corporation (whatever that is)?
Over $900,000 for the deputy minister to the premier?
That works out to about $70,000 a month, if that brings it more into perspective for you.
Then there’s the five hundred thousand for the CEO of BC Railway Corp. – an entity that was, rather infamously, sold off some years ago. Apparently they sold off all the assets but retained a few high-paid senior employees.
That these salaries are outrageous is a given. That they are mathematically unsustainable is a cold hard fact.
The mean pretax salary province-wide is somewhere around $40,000 per year. How much tax can you possibly extract from such a populace? (Hint: Not nearly enough to have millionaire civil servants.)
There used to be an unwritten contract vis-a-vis government employ: The pay was modest, lowish even, in return for which you got job security and a modest pension upon retirement.
That deal has been not just broken, but shattered into a million pieces. Unfireable civil servants are now society’s fat cats, raking in more in a month than most folks do in a year.
And the truth is, no civil servant truly rates a six-figure income; they take no risks and are never held responsible for their actions (the elected politicians always take the fall i.e. Glen Clark, Gordon Campbell, etc.).
What can possibly be the justification?
Small wonder the province tries for a tax grab every time we turn our backs for a moment.
And no wonder we have such poor transport infrastructure (not even up to mid-20th Century standards) despite being gouged relentlessly, on paydays, at the cash register, at the gas pump, and so on and so on and…that money is obviously needed elsewhere.
Too many civil servants, being paid way too much…how long will it last? How long before the whole edifice collapses on itself?