OPINION

Precision cuts to the civil service

It is obvious that the targets outlined in the draft budget for 2011 can never be achieved without drastic cuts in wages and perhaps even the layoffs of employees at state-owned companies and in the broader civil service. But it is also important that these measures are implemented in a way that causes the least amount of damage and with a certain amount of forethought and consideration. The public sector will always need a solid backbone, a core body of staff that should be composed of the most capable employees and officials. These workers should be regularly evaluated on their performance according to objective criteria and should be properly paid for the work they do. If the government decides to make sweeping across-the-board cuts that do not take into account individual performance, it will be committing a grave injustice against those employees of the civil service who work hard and who should be rewarded rather than punished for their efforts because at the end of the day they are the ones who will carry the public sector through the crisis.