The Ashburton Guardian. Magna et Veritas et Prævalebit. WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 1890. RETRENCHMENT.
P record ings of the House m Committee oi Supply di-iVMay n true econoraic.il spirit. The Government Estimates are being closely and critically overhauled, and important reductions have been made m the salaries of highby paid Government officials. There is an utter absence of parsimony m this procedure, as, even with the reductions made m salaries of £500 and orer, public servants will be liberally paid for their services. The costly and elaborate Civil Service of New Zealand is beyond the requirements of the colony, and the expense is greater than can be borne. The rank and tile of the service are not overpaid—m fact it is notorious that telegraph operators, post office clerks, and similar officials are shamefully underpaid, and have been so for years— buttheheadsof department, upon whose ipse dixit the public Estimates have hitherto been passed without murmur, are very much over-estimated and overpaid. ■;. It has heretofore been a feature of the Estimates every year , that substantial increases have been recommended m cases -where substantial salaries were already being paid. The same tiling has occurred m the present instance, but the retrenchment party m the House have set their faces firmly against this pernicious system, and while all, or nearly all proposed increases have been distinctly refused, the petitioners have, m addition, had their salaries reduced. In fact the House has forcibly taken the Estimates out of the hands of the Ministry, and from the control of heads of department, and claim the right to regulate expenditure. Civil Service reform was urgently needed. The Government refused to effect this reform, and also refused to make room for those who were willing to do ,so. The House hjjd therefore no option but to take the matter m its own hands, and effect the needful reductions. This useful work is being carried on m a determined and unflagging manner m the face of Government opposition and Civil Service intrigue. As a result of this heroic work on the part of the retrenchment section of the House the Estimates are being cut down by thousands of pounds, and the public services of the country will remain practically unimpaired. Therefore, if the present session has been otherwise barren, the first step m a most important matter has been taken, as from henceforward the members of the House will become directly responsible to the ratepayers for extravagant public expenditure m the Civil Service. The eyes of the taxpayers are upon membors of the House, and the proceedings m Commitee of Supply have had a new interest attached to them which augurs well for future economic administration.