Good ideas in the budget

There are a few things in the budget we like. There’s a lot we don’t like but trying to be positive [we are sometimes you know] there are a few things to encourage us in Dexter’s efforts to prove that the NDP can be good at fiscal management.

First there is the plan to cut the civil service by 10% although through attrition and over 4 years. [We could be petty and say that there is a lot of deadwood they could get rid of right now but how many VIP relatives would be affected? We are trying to be positive remember….]

The positions lost will be across a range of government departments and will not affect the broader public service, says a government source.

The other thing that was encouraging was the reference to pension changes.

…$150 million to $200 million in annual pension savings, the result of a decision to fully fund the public service plan, to make benefits indexing contingent on the plan staying fully funded and to reduce some benefits for new hires.

We  think even more savings might be made through pension adjustments as there must be other civil servants somewhere in NS – at either the provincial or municipal level –  with pension plans that offer 18% with zero contributed by the employee. Surely Wolfville can’t be the only unit with this generous setup, can it? There must be some comparisons on file at Town Hall used as background when mayor and Council negotiated the CAO “contract”.  Surely they looked at what was “competitive”, not unique!

So we applaud Dexter for putting pensions on the table and we encourage our Councillors to follow his fine example; when amending the CAO’s contract for the next go round, [if they get a chance to approve it at all] they should “negotiate” a better deal for taxpayers.

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