OTTAWA – A new report from Canada’s budget watchdog suggests the country’s federal public servants have enjoyed a pretty good decade or so.
The paper from the Parliamentary Budget Officer shows the average public servant costs taxpayers $114,100 a year in total compensation.
What’s more, the PBO says compensation in the federal service has outpaced inflation and that of other employees — both in business and other levels of government — during the past 13 years.
That comes off an earlier period, in the 1990s, when both compensation and number of employees declined as a result of budget cutbacks introduced by then finance minister Paul Martin.
Since then, however, the public service has more than made up for lost time and has reached new heights in terms of number of workers and compensation, which includes salaries and benefits.
Overall, the paper says Canada paid out $43.8 billion last year for about 375,000 employees — in technical terms called full-time equivalents.
The PBO notes that growth in the public service has halted as part of new austerity measures and that the 2012-2015 period is expected to resemble what occurred in the mid-1990s.
In the March budget, the federal government said it intended to reduce the workforce by 19,200 jobs and freeze salaries.