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经济学人:公务员与财政紧缩 不曾变革的时代

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Finance and economics

财经商业
Civil servants and austerity
公务员与财政紧缩
The times they aren't a-changin
不曾变革的时代
Civil-service payrolls have held up surprisingly well
一直以来,公务员的薪酬都出奇地好
AFTER the party, the hangover.
盛宴之后,宿醉来临。
When debt-fuelled economic growth came to a crashing halt in the financial crisis of 2008, governments across much of the rich world sought to cut spending.
在2008年的经济危机中,由债务推动的经济增长模式彻底崩溃,随后许多富裕经济体政府则力图缩减开支。
One obvious target was the state's payroll.
而其中一个明显的着手点便是公务员薪酬支出。
Leviathan's minions are certainly costly.
利维坦仆从们的耗费当然不菲。

In the European Union public-sector wages and salaries take up about 10% of GDP.

在欧盟国家当中,公共部门的薪水支出大约占国民总收入的10%。
The Initiative for Policy Dialogue, based at Columbia University, reckons that since 2010 almost 100 governments have set out plans to cut their payrolls.
据哥伦比亚大学的政策对话倡议组织估计,自2010年以来,已有接近100个政府着手削减他们的公务员薪酬开支。
Some cuts may be savage.
一些裁员计划或许能用残忍来形容。
The headcount in many British government departments may fall by as much as 40% by 2019 from current levels, says a recent report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies, a think-tank.
近期一篇来自英国政府智囊团财政研究院的报告表明,英国许多政府部门将于在2019年之前裁减目前总数40%的员工。
Relative to its 2012 level Italy plans to jettison 20% of public-administration managers by 2016.
而意大利政府则计划于2016年之前裁减相当于2012年总量20%的公务员。
However, aggregated data on public-sector headcounts offer some surprises.
然而,公共部门员工的统计数据却有些出人意料。
Whereas Britain's public-sector workforce has already contracted by 8% since 2007, in Germany and France the number has increased.
自2007年起英国政府公务员人数已缩减了8%,与此相反的是德国与法国方面却在增加。
More intriguing still is what has happened to compensation costs—the amount governments pay bureaucrats in wages and salaries, but not pensions.
更耐人寻味的是官僚薪酬待遇变化情况,而不是津贴方面的问题。
Of the 30 countries in a Eurostat database, half are spending more after inflation on public employees than they were in 2007, even in cases where headcount has fallen.
据欧盟统计局的资料显示,有半数国家公务员薪酬开支与2007年的水平相比有所提升。
The euro zone as a whole spends only 1.7% less on government wages than it did six years ago.
其中部分国家甚至已经着手削减了其公务员规模。以欧元区国家作为整体来统计,其公务员薪酬开支仅比6年前减少了1.7%。
Belgium spends 10% more, Luxembourg 24%.
与此同时,比利时政府反而增加了10%,卢森堡增加了24%。
And since 2007, 21 countries, including Cyprus, Italy and France, have not cut the proportion of GDP that they devote to public servants' wages.
自2007年以来,有21个国家仍未削减公务员薪酬,这其中包括塞浦路斯、意大利和法国。
Finding explanations for dearer public payslips is tricky.
要为日益高昂的政府工资单找理由,不是一件容易的事情。
One reason might be wage drift—the automatic increases in salaries that can occur as civil servants are granted annual promotions in seniority, simply for having been in their jobs for another year.
其中一个原因或许可以总结为工资浮动—这一机制确保了公务员薪酬随着职位的逐年提升而增加,而职位的提升往往并不需要什么理由,仅仅在自己的岗位上又待了一年的公务员便可获得提升。
In 2012, for example, more than 600,000 staff from Britain's National Health Service received rises averaging 3.5%, despite a pay freeze.
例如,除了一次薪金冻结之外,英国国家医疗卫生服务系统超过60万名员工,在2012年得到了平均3.5%的薪金涨幅。
In 2010 Barack Obama also decided to freeze government pay, yet the median salary for federal employees climbed by over $3,000 during the following two years.
在2010年,美国总统奥巴马虽然同样地实施了薪金冻结,然而在其后的两年内,公务员薪酬中位数则突破了3000美元的大关。
Wage drift could outweigh the effect of reduced headcount, which is likely to be concentrated in the lower echelons of the civil service.
工资浮动机制的影响,可能远比裁减人员的作用更大,而这是由于政府的裁员计划主要面向低层公务员。
Another possibility, suggests Alberto Alesina of Harvard University, is that governments simply failed to implement planned spending cuts.
哈佛大学的艾尔波托?艾莱斯那表示还有另一种可能:简单地说,那就是政府没有去执行早已制定好的开支削减计划。
At the end of January Greece's highest administrative court ruled that pay reductions for the armed forces and emergency services were unconstitutional: the government now faces a