Federal employees average $114K in pay, benefits
Published Tuesday, December 11, 2012 11:12AM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 11, 2012 8:08PM EST
A major report by Canada’s budget watchdog reveals that government spending on public sector personnel exceeded $43 billion in 2011-2012, accounting for almost half of all direct program spending.
The latest report from Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page released Tuesday shows that Canadians paid an average of $114,100 in compensation for each of the country’s 375,000 full-time federal employees.
“Certainly over the last 10 years it has grown much faster than the business sector and much faster than the provincial sector,” Page told CTV’s Power Play on Tuesday.
Page said while compensation accounts for 40 per cent of direct program spending, there was no annual reporting of the figures.
“You couldn’t go the public accounts quickly and see any kind of analysis on trends,” he said.
The report examines the impact of federal personnel expenses over a 22-year period, as the government looks to shrink the federal employee workforce under new austerity measures.
The Conservative government’s 2012 budget slashes 19,200 federal positions over the next three years and the growth rate of full-time employees is expected to hit a historical low in 2014-15 based on the study period. However, the report found that public sector spending will increase over the next two years due to personnel expenses and total compensation per employee.
“It’s going to make the challenge of freezing direct program spending difficult,” said Page. “But we think we need monitoring, we need spending plans, and every year we should be seeing a report like the one we released today.”
The report also identified gaps in reporting and transparency as it relates to the federal government’s promise to reduce the public-sector workforce.
Page is currently embroiled in a court battle with Parliament Hill in an attempt to obtain more information about the slated cuts. He said the lack of information made determining a baseline for federal personnel spending a challenge.
Speaking to the report on Tuesday, interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae said Conservative spending has remained high since they first came into office.
“These guys spent a ton of money when they were first elected. They spent way over and above inflation and they drove the economy into deficit before we hit the wall in 2008,” said Rae. “So when that happened, of course the spending skyrocketed again.”