As promised, Jason Kenney is going to reduce government spending in the budget that was presented to Albertan’s on Oct. 24.
It is a start but was not enough as far as I am concerned.
Of course, the NDP and the public sector unions are yelling bloody murder and the NDP are accusing the government of lying.
They said that Jason Kenney promised not to cut back the front line workers.
What he said was that he would not reduce the workforce, he didn’t say anything about their pay.
All public sector workers in Alberta are paid about 10 per cent higher wages and benefits compared to comparable workers in the other provinces and workers in the private sector with similar responsibilities.
It costs Albertans $2,000 more per person than it does in other provinces for government service, so I don’t think a two to five per cent cut in pay is much of a sacrifice.
These workers are darn lucky to have a secure well paying job. Since the NDP was elected as government, thousands of private-sector workers have either lost their jobs or took a major cut in pay to keep their job.
Where I think the government needed to really take an axe was to the government bureaucracy.
Since the old PC government centralized the Health Care system and some other departments the cost of government administration has increased exponentially.
That is what started the government on the path to deficit financing.
What we have is managers managing managers managing managers.
So what I think happens is that a low-level manager gets a level of pay that exceeds what a front line worker would get.
The next level manager would get a higher level of pay due to their assumed extra responsibility, and then the next level would be awarded even higher pay.
I am sure there are bureaucrats that are being paid over half a million dollars, and believe me they do not make government more efficient.
It was after the Health Care system was centralized that the government rescinded the balanced budget law.
Kenney should reduce their numbers by about 25 per cent and their pay by about the same amount. That would make a difference, mind you all hell would break loose if he did it.
The three previous governments all spent money like water without understanding what really generates government revenue.
In order for a government to be sustainable there has to be a source of wealth creation.
The NDP government used to brag about how many jobs they were creating.
About 85 per cent of those jobs were government jobs. Government jobs create very little wealth.
They just consume wealth.
That is why Socialist governments only work until, as Margaret Thatcher said, the money runs out.
It is the people working in private sector jobs that provide the real wealth to pay for government services.
In Alberta, the real wealth creators were the energy sector and agriculture.
It is the revenue that the government receives from private sector workers that really pays for our government services.
Yes, government employees also pay taxes but that is just money going around in a circle.
Naheed Nenshi the Mayor of Calgary and Don Iverson the Mayor of Edmonton are each complaining about a 70 million dollar cutback in money from the budget.
In fact, some of Nenshi’s councillors are suggesting there may have to be a five per cent role back in wages for city employees. Well, wouldn’t that just be too bad?
Maybe the Mayors should take a look at their priorities.
For example, do Edmonton and Calgary really need to spend millions on bike lanes that effectively slow up vehicle traffic?
They need to get their heads around the fact that Alberta has been in a recession for over five years and money needs to be spent where it is actually needed.
by Herman Schwenk