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Murphy's Logic: Federal spending cuts should include reducing the public payroll

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has told his cabinet ministers to find $15 billion in spending cuts across the government and he’s given them until Oct. 2 to do it. It shouldn’t be difficult.

During the pandemic, while many private sector enterprises were shrinking or disappearing altogether, the federal government was exploding.

According to the Treasury Board, the number of federal public servants has grown from 288,000 in 2019, to more than 357,000 today. That’s an increase of 24 per cent. During that same period, the country’s population grew by less than six percent.

The minister of the Treasury Board, Anita Anand, has said spending cuts aren’t expected to result in job losses, beyond “normal attrition or redeployment’. My question is why? As most things move back to pre-pandemic levels, this is the perfect time to take a critical look at just how big the government is and how big it needs to be.

Taxpayers have a right to ask what these additional 69,000 people are doing. There has been no obvious improvement in the delivery of service to the public, as anyone who's ever called the Canada Revenue Agency will tell you.

And, these same questions should be asked of the federal cabinet, which is now 26 per cent larger than it was when Mr. Trudeau was elected in 2015 with a majority government. Today, close to one quarter of all Liberal MPs in his minority government are in the cabinet.

Federal spending cuts should include reducing the public payroll and that should start with fewer ministers at the top. Top Stories

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