The Province newspaper missed the mark in its Jan. 25 editorial on the Fraser Institute’s recent study showing that government workers get pay that’s almost 14% higher than people doing the same work in the private sector. In fact, public sector workers are getting rich at the expense of taxpayers. Public pensions and pay are so rich that bureaucrats can retire an average of three years earlier than private sector workers.

ICBA submitted a letter to the Province making this very point.

Dear Editor,

The Province is wrong when it says public sector workers aren’t getting rich off taxpayers. They retire earlier, with a defined benefit pension and a lifetime of higher pay. All of it is subsidized by the private sector workers who don’t get the same lavish packages.

Think of it this way – the taxes that go to make public paycheques bigger actually make private sector paystubs smaller. It’s hardly fair – but public compensation could be fair – for the government staff and for taxpayers. Public-Private Compensation Equity legislation could level the playing field with a board made up of independent of economic experts. They would have the ability to set wages and benefits for bureaucrats, free of political pressures and considerations.

With wages one of the biggest government expenses, bringing public wages and benefits in line with market-driven private sector wages would free up money for all levels of government.

Imagine the freedom for governments with more money. They could deliver more services, rather than richer public paycheques. That would benefit all taxpayers – not just the folks working for governments.

Philip Hochstein, President
Independent Contractors and Businesses of B.C.