Forestry Civil Service Cuts Long Over Due
October 29, 2002
VICTORIA: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) endorses the Liberal's government's announcement to trim 700 positions from the Ministry of Forests.
"The civil service cuts were long over due and inevitable," said Victor Vrsnik, BC director for the CTF. "BC taxpayers can not sustain the cost of a bloated bureaucracy in the face of a $4 billion deficit and a growing debt."
The CTF notes that the cost of BC's public sector is disproportionately higher than other provinces. Between 1992 and 2001, the number of BC public sector employees grew by 17%. Over the same period, Alberta registered a 21% decrease while Ontario cut its public sector by 12% .
Public sector wages in British Columbia outstripped the country as well. BC's public sector wages rose by 64% between 1991 and 2001 compared to 21% in Alberta and only 7% in Ontario.
"Had the previous NDP government exercised some common sense in the 1990s and kept public service costs in line with other provincial governments, today's 700 employees and their families would likely be employed in the private sector and still have a job today," noted Vrsnik.
"The laid-off employees have only the last provincial government to blame for creating the unsustainable jobs that they have come to rely upon," said Vrsnik. "The NDP government should never have created the expectation that public sector jobs were sustainable when they had neither the means nor resources to fulfill that commitment."
"The Liberal government made the right decision to reduce public sector spending. They should continue with planned workplace reductions and aim to bring public sector employee numbers and salaries in line with the rest of the country," concluded Vrsnik.