As both a taxpayer and a Hong Kong resident generally, I find the proposed backdated 6.16 - 7.24 per cent pay rises for Hong Kong's bloated and overpaid civil service employees outrageous and insulting. Specifically:
1.Hong Kong's civil servants already earn far more than equivalent private sector employees to begin with and are regarded by many as the highest paid in the world;
2. the criteria for reviewing civil servants' pay are ridiculous and include wholly irrelevant matters such as the government's fiscal position and staff pay claims. The former amounts to a statement that if the taxpayers have been over taxed, the civil servants should get a cut of the excess taxation. The latter just defies all rational comprehension;
3. civil servants work shorter hours than private sector employees and, for all practical purposes, are immune from the risk of job loss - in a rational world these realities would require civil servants to be paid less than private sector equivalents;
4. the increases are much higher than the increases currently being earned in the private sector.
Just to really rub it in, our Legislative Council has decided to give the lower ranked staff pay rises above and beyond the already inflated initial proposals.
Some days it is really hard to understand the way the Hong Kong Government wastes the taxpayers' hard earned money - overpaid civil servants, a completely unnecessary new government office at Tamar, destroying our country parks with concrete and, in all likelihood, robbing the taxpayers to fund a third runway at Chek Lap Kok (which should be paid for by users alone). All this while so many families and individuals are struggling to get by in a time of rising inflation, there is a shortage of hospital facilities, doctors and nurses and nothing is being done to address the appalling quality of the air we breathe and the harbour we play in.
Somewhere along the way the Hong Kong government just lost the plot.