GOVERNOR Benigno R. Fitial says his administration is now preparing the fiscal year 2011 budget which could cut to 64 hours the 80-hour biweekly payroll of government employees.Austerity holidays are an Orwellian alternative to saying that every government employee's paycheck --except for those "exempted"-- is about to be cut 20%.
The governor said he’s confident that the incoming 17th Legislature, which will be dominated by his Covenant Party, will pass the budget with the austerity holidays.
Last month the Marianas Variety revealed that this administration had hired 1000 workers in the run up to the election. A member of the Legislature told me today that before November 7 they were swamped with hire requests, like replacing Governor Fitial's driver among others.
In these tough economic times anyone with any sense of economic reality would wonder where the money to pay all these new people would come from. Well, now we know. If you are reading this and you work for the local government, it is going to come out of your pocket. You will have less money to feed your family because the pie is being shared with unqualified, unneeded people who traded a vote for the promise of employment. And if you work for the private sector, it is going to come out of your pocket in the form of increased fees and taxes.
This will be something to ponder as we celebrate every single Fitial Friday in 2010.