A recent Financial Post article placed a spotlight on a major cause of the out of control spending by governments of all levels (federal, provincial and local). As rate payers of Turner Valley it is the local government that is our concern and where we can perhaps have the most impact.
“With the pay and benefits for government employees consuming a significant share of government spending — often about half of a provincial budget — controlling these costs is key to any government’s effort to repair public finances.” (Financial Post Dec. 9, 2016)
The question that each rate payer needs to ask themselves is what services are municipal governments supposed to provide and at what cost to the residents? What should the normal staffing levels be to provide that level of service? Obviously, each of us will have a different opinion on these questions. At some point the cost to residents for whatever service is provided becomes too onerous for rate payers manage. The financial post article indicates the following:
“A new Fraser Institute study spotlights the wage premium enjoyed by government employees in Canada at all levels (federal, provincial and local). Using Statistics Canada data from 2015, the study finds that government employees receive, on average, 10.6 per cent higher wages than comparable workers in the private sector.” (Financial Post Dec. 9, 2016)
It is time that residents and rate payers start asking hard questions of our Municipal Government. For the residents of Turner Valley on fixed incomes the level of taxation and fees for services is already more than many can fit in the monthly budget. Food bank usage has increased and residents will be taming on additional cost from the new carbon tax being promoted by the Feds and Alberta’s NDP. The Turner Valley Rate Payers Association intends on asking those questions. If you would like to be part of this effort to take back control of our local government and rein in spending, please email us and get involved.
“The longer-term solution, however, is to enact measures that link the wages and benefits of government employees to similar positions in the private sector. Doing so would allow governments to better control spending, rein in debt and maintain fairness for taxpayers who ultimately foot the bill.” (Financial Post Dec. 9, 2016)
Link to the financial post article: