Article today at iPolitics highlights the institutional disconnect these Conservatives are sanctioning, on the one hand preaching austerity to a certain "class", while simultaneously lining the pockets of the perceived elites, as though their value isn't tied to economic reality as well, the operate outside hard truths and simply carry on, while others bear the brunt of required cuts:
Top federal government executives quietly received hefty increases in performance pay and bonuses last year at the same time pay cheques for MPs and most public servants barely budged, iPolitics has learned.
The biggest percentage jump was in bonuses that were paid out on top of base salaries and basic performance pay known as “pay at risk.”
The amount of money the government paid out in bonuses jumped from $913,914 in 2009-10 to $2.2 million in 2010-11 – an increase of 144 per cent. The average bonus for executives fortunate enough to get them went from $1,671 in 2009-10 to $4,156 in 2010-11.
Pure nonsense. You ask civil servants to buy into cutback, under the guise of fiscal necessity, and yet this philosophy doesn't apply to those at the top of the food chain, they are immune. How anyone can possibly justify the disconnect here is beyond me, you'd have to turn yourself into an intellectual pretzel to achieve superficial coherence.
The article notes a large rise within the Prime Minister's Privy Council. Now to be fair, the budget did announce a 10% claw back within the Privy Council Office, but part of that was simply moving money around. As well, interesting that the sticker number expenditure merely takes us to 2010 expenditures, wherein it ballooned 12%, despite the initial government calls for "freezes". In other words, when you factor in departmental accounting moves, "cuts" are a fantasy. Good public relations though I suppose, I'm sure supporters will gloss over reality to make a tortured case.
The chief point, this government is giving top executives raises- performance based- yet the people under them who are also capable of important contributions are not only told bonuses don't apply, but they will fall behind standard of living wise. One group is getting ahead, the other group sees their relative place eroding, effectively sanctioning further disparity, widening the wealth gap. Given this government has preached austerity, SURELY a logical case could have been made for across the board freezes, suspension of bonuses until which time we get our house in order, blah, blah, blah, there would not be any real political blowback given the overall arguments. And yet, this government didn't see the hypocrisy here, they have exempted the upper tier, austerity is a concept foreign to the elites.
The escalating salaries for the top tier- those closest to these Conservatives- blends in nicely with exploding costs for self promotion, a growing PMO that serves partisan needs, basically one rule for everyone else, another for the self interested. It has become clear, if we do tackle this deficit, it will have been done on the backs of ordinary Canadians, while the vanguard lives in an other worldly existence, free from the necessary constraints of ordinary men.