Top civil servant criticises salary ceiling

Linking the pay of top civil servants to that of prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende is ‘unwise’, Roel Bekker, secretary-general at the home affairs ministry, said in a speech at Leiden University on Monday evening.

The government wants top civil servants to earn no more than the PM’s €176,00 per year, the so-called Balkenende norm.
But Bekker said not enough consideration is given to how hard the work is, reports news agency Novum. ‘Nor is enough consideration given to the difficulties of attracting people to the civil service from the jobs market,’ he added.
Bekker said there is a difference between the political sphere where the salary of the PM, ministers and MPs are set fast, and the professional domain.
Civil servants should be judged on performance, he told his audience. ‘But people prefer not to talk about the productivity of a civil servant, which is exactly why jokes are made about it,’ he was reported as saying.

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