A look through the Wardrobe

The latest set of employment figures are out today, and they confirm even more starkly that the public and private sectors are about as different as the two sides of C.S. Lewis's Wardrobe - except that in this case it is the real world that is trapped in the icy snow of a recession, and it is is the public sector which appears to be enjoying a rosy summer world of crumpets, Fair Isle sweaters and stately homes.




 Through the wardrobe: Bob Crow, Polly Toynbee, Harriet Harman and Gordon Brown take a peek into a strange, grim world where people have to live within their means.


Today we learned that in the Second Quarter of 2009, private sector employment fell by 230,000 but the number of public sector workers grew yet again by 13,000. This is utterly unsustainable - you have more and more public sector employees, with all the pay and pension requirements as well as the cost of the programmes they administrate, being funded by fewer and fewer private sector workers.


As we pointed out last week in our joint report with the Institute of Directors, the public sector has got to start living the same way as the rest of society. Employing more and more people on wages that are growing twice as fast as the private sector, with pensions that are heavily subsidised, while the productivity of those workers falls every year is a hugely wasteful policy.


The idea that the public payroll can simply expand again and again to somehow solve the problem of the recession is pie in the sky - in reality, this expansion is pushing up the national debt, threatening our credit rating and loading yet more spending commitments on to taxpayers that will hobble our chances of recovery.

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