All this said, the claims of ‘unfairness’ might warrant a more serious hearing if public sector workers in the UK and elsewhere had marched against the enormous increase in government spending (between 4 and 6 % of GDP in the UK) that took place on the back of the financial bubble that prevailed between 2001 and 2008. Few, if any of those spending increases were ‘deserved’ by public sector workers. They certainly didn’t come as result of productivity increases. Yet those who work for the public sector (and I include myself in that category) were perfectly willing to cash in on the spending increases that were funded in part by taxing the gains made in the banking boom. Now that boom has disappeared someone has to pay the full bill- including the public sector. If union leaders had marched through the streets demanding public spending restraint and campaigned for higher interest rates during the last ten years – as any genuine guardian of the ‘public interest’ should have been expected to do – then and only then might they have a valid reason to gripe about the present ‘injustice’.
Read the article on the Pileus website.
Mark Pennington is the author of Robust Political Economy: Classical Liberalism and the Future of Public Policy