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Alberta's budget woes easily solved

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  |  Posted: Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 06:00 am

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The mathematical answer to the province’s projected $6-billion per year shortfall in revenue is so simple that a Grade 3 child could solve it in five minutes or even quicker with a calculator.

Most government revenue is spent on public employees. Hence, the biggest saving would come by implementing immediately a five-per-cent pay cut and five-per-cent pension cut to all public employees. They would hardly notice the cut and no one would lose his job. Simultaneously, reinstate the very modest annual fees for health care.

Public spending is so huge that maybe even a two-per-cent, across-the-board cut would do the trick. The big mistake usually made in cutting public spending is to stop new hires and lay off workers. This policy punishes the younger, more energetic and harder working staff while shoring up privileges for those who have been in government employment so long that they feel a sense of entitlement to pay, pensions and conditions that few in the private sector can achieve.

Paul Green, Edmonton


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