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5/20/2007

We need means testing

There is no better time than now to quickly introduce means testing before things get out of hand. The public service is public service for the people and not a treasure chest for the finders and keepers. It is the public's money and not only that the money must be spent reasonably, the public must also have a say in how and how much it should be spent particularly in the area of Ministerial salary. And this is where means testing must come in. A set of criteria must be adopted to test the means of such an income that the people deems fit for the political appointees. This should be measured against affordability and real income. Real income as compared against equally well off nations and the value of the income vis a vis the basket of goods it can purchased. Next we need to look at affordability not in the sense that the country has a golden goose and it is able to afford as many eggs as the picker wants to. Affordability shall be in the area of what the salary should be able to afford to the office holders. How many houses should the salary afford to buy every year, how many Benzes or BMWs or Bently every year, how many family holidays to choice destinations, how many millions to be put aside as savings. The political appointees must be able to afford a lifestyle fit for them in a prosperous country. The means testing must make sure that they can afford all these comforts to be meaningful and of course to attract more of such talented people befitting of such lifestyle to join the fray. The govt should immediately start to work out a set of means testing for such high offices.

1 comment:

redbean said...

One additional factor to consider is the minister's previous income before his appointment. If the minister was a taxi driver or a school teacher for example, he should not be expected to be getting the multi millions deserved for super talents.

A cap say of 5 or 10 times his last income should be included in the formula. This should avoid the strike lottery phenomena and prevent the paupers from running for public office hoping to strike it rich. For the probability is much higher and the jackpot is much bigger.

Means testing in this sense is very important to prevent abuses to the Ministerial salary system. Test the new minister's last salary and also his current estimated potential to earn according to his training and profession.