Flat White

Wage inequality: us vs the bureaucrats

31 July 2017

4:38 PM

31 July 2017

4:38 PM

Note to Labour: One reason why the income gap widens in times of slow economic growth, I suggest, is surely the falling profits of small/medium companies.

Those who earn their wages as employees in cash strapped businesses (many of them small to medium) are stuck to the fate of the economy. Those we regard as wealthy – the top 10 per cent, say – are not tied to their employer’s success to the same extent, if at all.

Many are investors of various kinds, clever innovators or successful at the top of large organisations which pay handsomely (not always in proportion to their profits, as some shareholders complain).

And quite a few are politicians and many are bureaucrats, of course, insulated from market forces (and secure in retirement.) The PM earns over $500,000 a year, Leader of the Opposition over $368,000, Topwhile backbenchers earn over $200,000.

And along with the politicians, it’s the senior bureaucrats in the public service who are among that top 10 per cent, whose high incomes are insulated against market forces.

Senior executives earn between about $166,600 and $407,60The top dog in Canberra, Martin Parkinson, earns over $860,000. The public sector employs a total of almost two million people at a cost of $146.8 billion pa, and nearly a quarter of a million of them work for the highest paying, the Commonwealth Government, at a cost of over $21 billion, an average of over $86,400, according to the Bureau of Statistics.

The average wage is around $78,800 a year.

If Bill Shorten wants to reduce the income gap in Australia, he should show us how he will increase productivity to enable higher wages for those at the bottom of the gap.

And set an example: demand lower wages for pollies and bureaucrats; that will clearly help to reduce the gap and ‘fight inequality’.

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