Public sector must cut its coat according to its cloth

Scottish Conservative shadow finance secretary Murdo Fraser says a crackdown on 'golden goodbyes' is long overdue. Picture: Neil Hanna
Scottish Conservative shadow finance secretary Murdo Fraser says a crackdown on 'golden goodbyes' is long overdue. Picture: Neil Hanna
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Workers in the public sector frequently enjoy benefits which are far superior to those available to staff in private companies. Enhanced pensions and large lump sums upon retirement are far from uncommon among senior civil servants.

Those who build their careers in the private sector would have to invest huge sums of their own money to achieve the sort of financial cushions that are available as a matter of course to those employed at the taxpayers’ expense.

It is state of affairs that is long overdue a review, so we are pleased to learn that there are plans to reduce the size of so-called “golden goodbyes” for those moving on from jobs in the public sector.

Across that sector, budget cuts are taking their toll on services upon which many of us depend. In the circumstances, the authorisation of huge payouts to departing senior staff can no longer continue.

With cuts to services and sluggish salary increases across the board, it has never been more vital for taxpayers to know exactly how their money is spent. Government and its many agencies are accountable to us all and we must know that our money is being used wisely.

Public sector workers have long argued that they should receive enhanced benefits because their earnings potential is restricted when compared with that of those employed by private companies. These days, with job insecurity rife, this is no longer the case.

Of course, we believe that those who face redundancy – whether in the public or private sectors – should receive meaningful compensation.

Redundancy is a stressful, often devastating, experience and those who are forced into it need proper compensation for the loss of a 
job the equal of which they may never find again.

But when it comes to “golden goodbyes”, it is time for the public sector to cut its coat according to its cloth.