"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Poverty Reduction Strategy (I)

An interesting, and snarky, “cheer” in today’s Tellytorial:

Cheers: to pay increases. Well, cheers to someone getting a pay raise, anyway. Salaries for the 19 staff in the premier's office went up this fiscal year - here are a sample of a few of the roughly $70,000 in increases. The premier's chief of staff? Up $5,831 to $151,612. Communications director? Up $7,854 to $126,868. Special adviser to the premier? Up $4,309 to $112,035. And the list goes on. No doubt, it aligns with the percentage pay raises given to unionized government employees - the thing is, a five per cent pay increase means something completely different to a salary already topping $100,000 than it does to a salary of, say, $33,000. It means a pay increase three times as large. By the way? The cost of running the premier's office is budgeted to make its way above the $2 million a year mark this year. It was $1.5 million in 2004.
Taking these in ascending order by size:

Special adviser to the premier (SAP?), who shows up in the telephone directory as Jeff Paddock, got a raise of $4,309. In the 2006 census, there were 44,220 people in the province whose total annual income for 2005 was $4,999 or less.

Chief of staff, one Brian Crawley, got a pay hike of $5,831. There were another 17,205 people whose total income in 2005 was between $5,000 and $6,999.

And Director of Communications, the illustrious human shield Elizabeth Matthews, got a raise of $7,854. There were another 30,060 people — more than the population of Labrador, Mount Pearl, Conception Bay South, or Corner Brook — whose entire annual income was between $7,000 and $9,999.

As a rough estimate, split that figure in half, 15,030, to estimate the number of people whose total income was more $7,000 but less than $8,000. There were, at last census, about 75,000 people in the province whose entire personal income in 2005 was less than Ms. Matthews’ raise in 2010.

Not that long ago, Himself said his staff were “worth their weight in gold.” Most people assumed it was a figure of speech.



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