Something has to give to put a stop to our ballooning debt.
The public servants’ salary bill is one of the biggest threats to our finances. Reports that government are mulling a pay freeze for all public servants could go a long way to rectifying this.
If done correctly, and carefully by excluding the low-income earners, this could slash that salary bill.
Public Service and Administration Minister Senzo Mchunu this week made sweeping changes to the ministerial handbook in a bid to curb government’s runaway expenditure on senior officials. The changes include a R700,000 cap on new cars for ministers, other restrictions on maintenance plans and security extras, while members of the executive and their spouses must travel in economy class for all official domestic and international flights where the travel time is less than two hours.
It is high time government implemented drastic spending cuts across the public service.
Although the unions have threatened to take action if a pay freeze to all public servants is enforced, we have to look at all viable options to cut back. The unions are threatening to take action, including embarking on a protest march to parliament when Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni tables the budget in February.
“We have taken the position of a freeze in our salaries and have also significantly reduced benefits to the executive in terms of personnel in executive offices, travel, accommodation and security benefits, among others,” said Mchunu. “We will be engaging with the minister of finance, the relevant ministers of all entities, the relevant national and provincial legislatures and judiciary which all derive budgets from the fiscus to extend similar restrictions.”
Something has to give to put a stop to our ballooning debt. Carefully done, this would be a start.
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