Editorial: Too much to ask

POSTED: 02/27/12 3:46 PM

The draft budget for this year reveals an average increase in the personnel costs for our ministers of nearly 6 percent. For five ministers these costs are even going up by 7.2 percent. Unlike the risings costs for staff bureaus (where increases could be explained from the hiring of additional staff) the personnel costs for ministers only relate to one person.

There is therefore only one conclusion possible: the ministers are giving themselves a raise. If we leave the Vice Prime Minister out, these raises are between 5.25 and 7.2 percent.

That is a significant increase and one could well wonder about its justification. Especially civil servants that are waiting for a cost of living adjustment to their salaries will scratch their heads about this piece of news.

Given the tough times ahead, and the fact that the salaries for our ministers are already generous to start with, it would have made sense to follow the example of parliamentarians in Belgium who recently voluntarily lowered their salaries by 5 percent.

Based on results, that is too much to ask.


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