Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Britain : New Govt = New Thinking on Equality and Debt

Yesterday, BBC broadcasted live the 'emergency' budget speech by George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer of the United Kingdom. It wasn't the usual budget speech but one that touched on many things that are wrong with the economy and society today. It was a realistic accurate assessment of the current state of the British economy and attempts to break from the past. The remedy, devoid of ideological influence, is the toughest Budget in Britain for a century.

Here is something I picked up listening to his speech on the civil service pay scale:

"And we have asked Will Hutton to draw up plans for fairer pay across the public sector, without increasing the overall pay bill, so that those at the top of organisations are paid no more than 20 times the salaries of those at the bottom.

The culture of excessive pay at the very top of the public sector simply has to end"

- George Osborne, Chancellor Exchequer, UK [Link]

UK has a income disparity that has been increasing in the past 2 decades. The current leaders see this as a serious problem that has to be addressed and they start by setting the example with those in public service.

It is a myth that if you keep increasing the pay of those in high office, you will get better and better people. What happens is a culture of entitlement takes root and the excessive pay just breeds greed and complacency. You mix this with the elitist beliefs and the selection system we have in Singapore where ordinary citizens are told that those who made it to the top are rare and extraordinary talents we end up with a lot less accountability. Be it downtown floods, massive losses in our sovereign wealth fund, escape of dangerous terrorists etc you see little accountability from the people on top who are paid the highest salaries in the world.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

The article reveals the truth in giving the elite a very high salary. Yes it becomes an entitlement and accountabilities just disappears.

Anonymous said...

In Britain they have a strong opposition capable of being the govt. I also don't think there is such a thing as walkovers in elections or a culture of suing political opponents to bankruptcy.

Like that how to compare?

Anonymous said...

Why do we not have strong opposition, because of us people. Full stop.

Anonymous said...

The people have given up and surrendered.

They dare not even hope, much less wish.

Now, it is up to the conscience of the Leadership.

patriot

lim said...

It is time to use our votes and make pap an opposition party..

Anonymous said...

"It is a myth that if you keep increasing the pay of those in high office, you will get better and better people. What happens is a culture of entitlement takes root and the excessive pay just breeds greed and complacency. You mix this with the elitist beliefs and the selection system we have in Singapore where ordinary citizens are told that those who made it to the top are rare and extraordinary talents we end up with a lot less accountability. Be it downtown floods, massive losses in our sovereign wealth fund, escape of dangerous terrorists etc you see little accountability from the people on top who are paid the highest salaries in the world."

The church is incriminated too either for omission of greed or indulgent of greed in the name ofGod.

Anonymous said...

Lucky,

I certainly believe you are right in what your wrote about the obscene salaries of leaders who are suppose to serve the nation.

As for the above Anon who wants to link this to religion and the dig at Christians, let us just stick to the subject and do not go in a tangent.

http://vonhayek.blogspot.com/ said...

PAP is definitely talent who make no mistake.

Everything go wrong lies on the people, and even God. So PAP never apologize.

PAP
Blame people.
Blame God.
Blame Malaysia.
Blame Globalization.
Blame Osama bin laden.
Blame global economic climate
Blame Chee Soon Juan
Blame JBJ.
....etc

PAP is really a bunch of fucking asshole.

Anonymous said...

The PAP has been doing a very good job before. We had leaders back then who gave their all to make sure the people enjoyed the success of their hatrd work. All that has changed. Now we know the true leader behind the built up of our reserves is Dr Goh. Now we have trying hard to spend on other economies and without accountability. I would stiill support the PAP if not for anything else. But the day, they declared themselves god's gift to singaporeans and paid themselves millions, was the day I decided me and every single member of my family will never vote for them anymore. They do not have the moral authority to lead us anymore

Anonymous said...

"It is a myth that if you keep increasing the pay of those in high office, you will get better and better people. What happens is a culture of entitlement takes root and the excessive pay just breeds greed and complacency."

Actually when pay becomes so high, these people end up spending more time and effort PROTECTING their cushy high paying jobs, and make irrational decisions that serve themselves rather than the general good.

For real-life examples, look no further than our PAP ministers and their GLC cronies.

Anonymous said...

yes, i heard that over bbc too. i dare our world-class straits times to report on this paradigm shift.

Anonymous said...

Ministers and top civil srvants can have politically acceptable lower pay officially but they can and will still be rich through corruption (hidden and illegal).

That's why besides better chance of attracting top talent, officially, ministers and top officers' pay need to be very high in order to prevent or rather discourage corruption.

Hence if there is already big and legal money officially, why need to be corrupt and risk being caught?

Anyone buying this logic or argument?

Anonymous said...

anon 14.02

you're DAFT. by your logic, obama plus merkel plus other g 8 leaders are corrupted.

anyone subscribing this kind of logic deserves to be screwed by pap, if he is not paid handsomely.

http://vonhayek.blogspot.com/ said...

Re Annon 14:02

You are right. Minister will definitely corrupt especially those from PAP. But in the western, the free press is a weapon against these crooks.

Remember u can corrupt away tenth of thousands without being caught but you cannot do it with millions.

You will leave a trace of accountant and transactions.

Every politician have their nemesis who will be too happy to expose to public such scandals. There are few naked corruption in western countries hence.

Now you know why fucker PAP so scare to independent reporting.

Anonymous said...

For that reason(being highly paid), everyone can see why they dare not admit that they failed in their area of responsibility. Finger pointing is the order of the day and when that is not enough, then their underlings will be the ones punished and they go scot-free and keep their cushy jobs and salaries. The main reason? That they are indispensable and so invaluable that should they leave, some organisation will grab them. Name anyone of them who if he does leave will ever get another job with all the perks they currently are enjoying. Not many of them I think. Ever heard any of them asked to leave because they screwed up? No? Are they superhumans that are infallible? You hear things like "these things happened, let's move on", "it was unexpected", and "it was a learning experience". Worst of all is the deafening silence when what we want to hear is some assurance that they are on top of the problem/s that occurred. For these superhumans, admitting failure is akin to losing their job and the high salary and perks that comes along with it.

http://vonhayek.blogspot.com/ said...

In the western, everyone have a right perception that every politician are crooks. Hence, the society created lots of nemesis for government, eg free press, independent judiciary, opposition parties.

And politicians in nordic countries are not highly paid but they are the least corrupt.

Nor the west need CPIB...etc. CPIB is a disgraceful institution that has no balls to go after lee family.

In the west, no such thing as CPIB is needed. The opposition party is CPIB.

Alan Wong said...

Lately there are several articles written in the net which question the wisdom of our once great leader who seems to be so eager to dispence advice to other people or countries.

It has been articulated that this once perceived great leader was actually trying to call his bluff because he relied his facts based upon only one side of story that was presented to him.

That's the problem when he had got his facts all wrong.

So the new thinking is that we should start questioning what our great leaders tell us. Remember not everything that is told to us is the gospel truth, there may be some hidden political agenda in what they says that is kept hidden from us.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Lucky

Do you know the number of seats the Tories won vs Labour?

Do you know the number of seats the PAP won vs Worker's Party?

I am sorry but I have to ask again where is your mythical selfless atheist party that is going to save Singapore.

Having said that, under Obama's wonderful leadership (just ask Jack Welch) ... PAP could become a non issue ...

Lucky Tan said...

anon 20:05,

I don't think there is a need for another opposition party. There are too many already and they should put aside their egos and consolidate their resources.

An atheist party would be a sure loser as most voters still believe in the Almighty. I'm a nominal atheist and see it as my inability to believe and take the leap of faith rather than something I would recommend for others. I believe religion will do a lot of good for our society - less the Kong Hees and MingYis.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Lucky

Even before the scandal, most mainstream Christians would already tell you that Kong Hee make Dawkins look like a Christian fundie!

And the track record of the existing opposition parties tells us that they dun have a chance.

So we need a new one with no baggage. So far the articulate / self-proclAi
Ed enlightened folks I see are mostly atheist. What are you waiting for?

Anonymous said...

Atheists are poor political leaders not because of any reason except that the humankinds are prone to superstitions. As such atheists being the minority will not be accepted by the superstitious majority.

Anonymous said...

Singapore leadership sees themselves superior to the leaders of all the First World countries in the world. They justify that by pointing to political stability, pro-business policies, high GDP growth, low unemployment, low crime. By these definitions, they justify their high pay.

RICH BASTARD said...

political stability, pro-business policies, high GDP growth, low unemployment, low crime. By these definitions, they justify their high pay

lololololol.... political stability??? of course, it is damned stable, one-party rule forever...

high gdp growth??? benefits who? not the ordinary peasants.

low unemployment??? for prs or singaporeans? oso, so many singaporeans are UNDEREMPLOYED.

or plzzzz, while advanced countries like japan and britain recognise the importance of income gap between the rich and the poor and are embarking on policies to be fairer in distributing the country's wealth, some $$$$$-faced elites are still trying to blow trumpet about rising numbers of millionaires and increasing prime property prices in stinkapore.

vote wisely. vote out the rich bastards, and bring in ordinary folks with genuine desire for public service.

Kaffein said...

Exactly, this is what I have been saying these for years - leaders are paid too much and seriously their policies aren't that solid. CEOs and Directors have termination clauses such that even when the company does not perform, they are still paid highly for leaving. Now that is a joke itself. And country leaders are following suit.