Derby Telegraph comment: Why pay workers to leave, only to take them back on?
SHOULD we be concerned, or even angered, that control over the spending of public money often seems so lax?
It is revealed by the Derby Telegraph today that the city council spent £50,000 on redundancy payments to workers it felt it could do without, only to re-hire them within months.
The staff were taken on in new roles but the process may seem strange and inefficient to employees in private companies. In the private sector, businesses simply have to keep an eye on their "bottom line" – the word profit may be a dirty one to some but the striving for achievement and return keeps society vigorous and healthy.
The other side of the coin is that society, we all agree, should also be compassionate and caring.
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Of course, vulnerable people – the disabled, the elderly, the long-term ill – often have to be helped and supported to enjoy fulfilling lives.
As the commercial sector has little vested interest in performing this function, it is the public sector which must step in. No-one would argue that taxes should not be used to fund this help.
But there is still a duty on the spenders of public money to get value and to be efficient. Is paying people £50,000 to leave, only to quickly take them back on, an efficient use of resources?
In the overall context of how much the city council spends each year, £50,000 is not a huge sum.
But most ordinary workers, who earn far less than that amount each year, would be entitled to ask if it is money well spent.