The Queensland premier has announced that the pay rise is “on hold”, as public anger mounts. Note that: “on hold”. As soon as she thinks it’s politically safe to do so, they’ll get their fat pay rise – almost certainly backdated.
During the Blitz, the Queen Mother famously refused to evacuate from Buckingham Palace, even after it was directly hit by Luftwaffe, and leave the rest of London to face the bombs alone. The future Queen, for her part, enlisted in the Auxillary Territorial Service at age 16, driving ambulances and trucks.
The message was clear: everyone had to do their bit.
Now, as the Xi Plague ravages the world: businesses are shuttering, workers are being laid off and everyone is being asked to confine themselves. As in WWII, everyone is similarly asked to make sacrifices.
Everyone, that is, except Queensland’s public servants.
Queensland’s 224,000 state public servants are set to receive pay rises totalling more than 3 per cent as others in the workforce endure static income levels, wage cuts, reduced hours, unpaid stand-downs or lose jobs because of the economic impact of the coronavirus.
Workers across the Queensland public sector are participating in an “all-staff” ballot that opened last week to approve a 2.5 per cent wage increase, plus a one-off cash payment of $1250.
The increases[…]comes as some highly-paid business executives and sporting stars accept pay cuts of 20 to 50 per cent, forced on them by the COVID-triggered economic downturn.
Note that this isn’t a pay rise they didn’t ask for being foisted on them. They are voting to give themselves even more taxpayer’s money, while taxpayers are facing the toughest times in living memory.
Since the Palaszczuk government came to power in Queensland in 2015 the public service has bloated, with the government becoming the state’s largest employer. Public service wages account for nearly half the government’s budget. The Spectator reports:
In the midst of virtually everyone in the private sector workforce in Australia facing the bleakest of times – layoffs, dismissals, bankruptcies, devastation[…]if you’re on the Queensland government teat you get a raise well above inflation[…]It’s shameless and disgusting.
One union official (and let’s be honest — this Queensland Labor government is wholly in the back pocket of the public service unions) tried to justify this by explaining that some of the union’s members were doing it tough, married as they were to people working in the private sector. Anyone reading such lacking self-awareness, self-serving claptrap must surely have wondered if he’d inadvertently woken up in an Alice in Wonderland story.
But, then, this is Queensland Labor, a government which makes it’s New Zealand counterpart look a model of efficiency and fiscal rectitude. The Palaszczuk Government is so incompetent that even its razor gangs run over budget.
Queensland Treasurer Jackie Trad’s public service razor gang — charged with slashing government spending on consultants — will itself employ more consultants after blowing its initial budget and missing its first deadline.
So, cheer up, New Zealand: you could always do worse.
Or, you could be a public servant, and stay secure in the knowledge that you’re guaranteed to do better than everyone else.
Although not so well as politicians in the solidly Labor state of Victoria. They’re giving themselves a nice little 3.5 percent pay rises due July 1. The cream of the nomenklatura, though, is Premier Daniel Andrews and his cabinet, who are helping themselves to a whopping 12 percent raise.
I wonder how that will look to broke and jobless Victorian voters as they deal with the economic wreckage of stage four lockdowns?
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