Sunday, January 3, 2010

This has to stop

The public sector in the UK is enormous, it doesn't really need to be, but the state has expanded over the years to cover all sorts of areas that frankly it doesn't need too. This all has to be paid for and it has to come from the pockets of private industry and commerce, because the public services don't actually run at a profit even when they are charging us for the privilege of having them interfere or get involved in our lives.

Times.
Public sector workers earn 7% more on average than their peers in the private sector — a pay gulf that has more than doubled since the recession began.
Official figures show that staff employed by the state are enjoying bigger pay rises, working fewer hours and receiving pensions worth up to three times as much as those in the private sector.
Civil servants, National Health Service staff, council officials and other public sector workers have enjoyed a “golden age” under Labour, according to an investigation by The Sunday Times.
The analysis was validated by Straight Statistics, a group that campaigns for the accurate reporting of official data.
Since Labour came to power in 1997, the number of public sector workers has increased by 914,000 to more than 6m, just over a fifth of the workforce.
Figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that average annual earnings of public sector workers rose to £22,405 last year — compared with £20,988 paid to the average private sector worker.
The lead of the typical state employee stands at 7%, compared with 3% the year before. Until 2005, private sector workers received more on this measure and as recently as 2002 enjoyed a 5% lead. “However you look at it, public sector workers have done better than most in the private sector over the past decade — and the gap is widening,” said Nigel Hawkes, director of Straight Statistics.
Official figures show that public sector wages are rising at 2.8%, compared with 1.1% in the private sector.
Now I don't have a problem with anyone getting a living wage, however during a recession you'd expect both public and private sectors to pull in their horns and look for ways to make savings. Well you would with any sane government, however Labour have demonstrated over the last 12 years that fiscal sanity is beyond their grasp and hence we have a runaway public service with larger pay rises than the sectors that actually have to pay for them.
This has to change and no doubt it will change just as soon as some political party actually has the balls to deal with it. The public sector is heading for a massive fall and it's going to be all the more painful the longer things go on the way they are now. Sooner or later the money will run out and you can't keep printing banknotes to keep paying off the debts you incur, despite what the current government believes.
No doubt the public service unions will fight any cuts tooth and nail, but in this they have to be defeated, the UK can't afford an engorged public sector any more than they can afford to top up their pay and perks ahead of what the real breadwinners for the economy do.

The cuts when they do come will be savage, but I don't think it will come this year, unless the economy gets worse (a distinct possibility) but sooner or later the next government will have to deal with runaway public sector spending and the longer they take the worse it will be for the public sector.
We will live in interesting times this year.

4 annotations:

tris said...

I agree with every word.

Let's hope that Cameron cuts, but that he cuts the useless prats at management level that do nothing to proviude the services, but hinder others with their mindless targets and form filling.

Let's not have cuts in doctors, teachers, nurses, etc. Although surely they must realise that they will have to take, if not pay cuts, at least freezes!

Edgar said...

A surtax on public sector pensions is needed, say 60% on pensions over £20,000. The huge pensions of council staff and civil servants, particularly, are not justified.

Goodnight Vienna said...

The public sector unions are already making threatening noises - I think anyone who thinks this year will be better than last has got it wrong.

Barking Spider said...

Cull the quangos and all the unnecessary, contradictory management tiers all working against each other and pervading, e.g., the NHS, and there will be plenty of money left for front line services, especially doctors and nurses who can't get jobs in the UK at the present time. Curious how there always seems to be plenty of money for foreign doctors and temp nurses while our own people are driven abroad which obviously helps to implement Labour's cultural engineering policies and the destruction of our national identity!
This makes no sense whatsoever to any right thinking people, but then when did Labour ever make sense?!