End outdated perks

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 December, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 December, 2001, 12:00am

There has been plenty of discussion about possible cuts in salaries for civil servants.

I would like to suggest that this should be the option of last resort.

Any reduction of salary is bound to cause widespread dismay and loss of morale in the workforce generally, especially if it is one's total earnings and also if it affects one's pension rights.

Instead, I would like to suggest that in addition to the excellent comments by the Director of Audit about savings on wastage of resources in the Government and savings in spending costs generally, that it would be better to look at outdated perks that can no longer be justified.

Education allowances, for example, are expensive and questionable.

Overtime and hardship allowances should also be scrutinised carefully.

For most senior officials, how can a household of staff, including a chef and driver be justified?

These same officers, after all, already have the highest salaries to pay for personal domestic services and an entertainment allowance in addition to being allowed the use of Government House for work-related entertaining.

Finally, why are large mansions kept at all for the Chief Secretary, Financial Secretary and a few other key officials at great cost?

Other senior civil servants had to give up luxury accommodation a long time ago.


Wan Chai