Sunday, August 03, 2008

Taxpayers fund partying bureaucrats

The BC government likes to celebrate success, which in itself is not a bad thing. The problem, however, is the lack of cost control.

Last year, the government spent $100,000 to celebrate civil service achievements. This year, they spent $500,000. At that rate, next year the taxpayer could be on the hook for $2.5 million in partying expense.

Governments have no incentive to control costs like a regular company, because they don't need to worry about losing money or going out of business - they just raise taxes. This is another example of the government's blank cheque approach when in comes to spending on their pet projects, especially now that it is in election mode (the provincial election is in May 2009).

The other issue is government competing for scarce labour with private companies in this province. If the government raises wages and spends on lavish parties to attract labour, private businesses also have to raise wages and hold lavish parties. Over time, business has difficulty competing and may have to shut down. Let's remember - businesses create wealth, governments redistribute it.

If the government continues on this trajectory, we can expect slower economic growth and higher taxes in the future.

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