Politicians, executives should respect austerity

Former government employee fears for our financial futures

Being long retired, I come from the generation where wages were poor, benefits almost unknown, severance packages for the working person unheard of.

Today’s public servants largely have no experience of those dreadful days.

A recent political cartoon illustrating the “Taxpayer Bank of B.C.” showed B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union members dressed in robber’s garb charging in, while MLAs exited with rich salary and pensions. I also recently read about Oak Bay, where a burst water main was allowed to gush for an entire weekend, as it was cheaper than calling out workers at “double overtime.”

Having been a government employee, private business person and elected municipal councillor for a period of nine years, I am genuinely fearful for the future. No one wants increases in taxation, but how else to meet demands?

I do not advocate a return to those earlier days when workers’ treatment was grossly unfair, so let us start with cuts at the MLAs’ pension trough, executive compensation and bonuses.

Overall, I suspect if effective attention were to be paid to these contentious and unfairly overgenerous situations, then workers might not be so demanding.

Bluntly, we are very fortunate to live in Canada. Let us not kill the already struggling golden goose through base greed and stupidity.

Stephen Lamb

Victoria