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"Quo Vadis ?" Public employee badge

The right to know
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Taxpayers are concerned about how their money is spent.

Now, they get the chance to see.

The Quo Vadis badge is an employee name badge containing a 2-line scrolling LCD display and a pager type receiver - a bit like the keyfob receivers banks give for secure access to accounts, and updated several times an hour.

It displays clearly as an averaged total what that employee has cost the taxpayers, both in wages and other costs, in the last 28 day period.

The badge would also display whether this cost was met from Local or National taxation.

A senior administrator's badge will obviously display a much higher number than a school cook or a bus driver.

Badges must be worn prominently at all times when the employee is performing paid work for their employer.

Third party contract staff and consultants would also be required to display a badge, thus uncovering previously "hidden" expenditure.

These badges will cause friction, envy, dissension and demoralization among public employees, leading to the breakdown of public services, civil disorder, war, famine, pestilence and the end of civilization as you know it.

8th of 7, Feb 19 2010

Taxing accountability Taxing_20accountability
Prior Art [8th of 7, Feb 19 2010]

Unison (UK Local Government Union) http://www.unison.o..._view.asp?did=10499
The current status of pay negotiations is not a happy one. Particularly if you bear in mind that over the last twenty years a lot of the traditionally lower paid manual workers have been 'contracted out'. [DrBob, Feb 23 2010]

[link]






       Do they flag up how many post-it pads from the stationary cupboard you have 'borrowed'?
wagster, Feb 19 2010
  

       Employees of private companies would also be obliged to wear the badge, showing their net benefit via their employer from big tax breaks, planning loopholes, direct Government grants, Government contracts (direct and indirect), restrictive legislation as well as enabling legislation, and bribes, as well as personal gains through top-up benefits (such as Working Tax Credit), state schooling, road maintenance and other public services. [-]
pocmloc, Feb 19 2010
  

       It should be less their personal taxes.   

       In the private sector equation value is maximized (costs reduced by having more money generated by each unit of labour) to increase profits.   

       In the public sector equation a portion of the value that was produced in the private sector is levied to produce value at that cost to the private sector.   

       However this is not a true dichotomy. Public sector employees are payed from the levy of taxes on private households, but they too are private households, and private households public to the extent that they use public institutions. Although the public sector operates at a cost to the private sector, public sector employees generate value through their labour which is taxed.   

       The net value produced by the public sector employees (money generated less wages) can be negative in proportion to the positive size of the levy where it would be zero. The size of the levy can be the entirety of the net value produced by both private and public sector employees.
rcarty, Feb 19 2010
  

       //the end of civilization as you know it//   

       Yay! Bring on the new one. Thanks.
wagster, Feb 19 2010
  

       I thought you should know, 8th, that I am currently composing a letter to my MP containing a proposal to levy taxes on dwellings in direct proportion to their cubicity. The more cube-like the dwelling, the higher the tax rate, obviously.

Why do you assume that public employees are a cost rather than an investment?

Your collapse of civilisation scenario is, of course, wide of the mark. What you have done, is to provide further opportunity for us to stuff the public service payroll with more accountants, statisticians and system analysts. The law of unintended consequences strikes again! I suppose that should be grateful really. I therefore withdraw my initial fishbone and replace it with a croissant. Yum!
DrBob, Feb 19 2010
  

       // public employees are a cost //   

       Because a paid employee is by definition a cost ?   

       Yes, they are an "investment", yes, they generate tax revenue. This is to drive home the message that the employees mosty highly valued by the public (care workers, catering staff, bin men, etc.) are amongst the most poorly paid.   

       [rcarty] that last paragraph - can we quote you on that ?   

       // Bring on the new one //   

       No problem, [wags]. Sign here ...
8th of 7, Feb 19 2010
  

       //cost rather than an investment// From the view point of the one who bought, or the one who had to pay for, the employee?
lurch, Feb 19 2010
  

       I'm currently drafting a letter to the planning office, asking for permisson to install an additional dimension to the interior of my sitting room. Would this exempt me from cubic tax?
wagster, Feb 19 2010
  

       //Because a paid employee is by definition a cost ? //

You make the mistake of applying the business model of a profit driven organisation to that of a public service. Whilst for a business, it might well save it's shareholders a bit of cash by having a few less employees, for the tax payer the consequences of laying off, to choose an entirely random and not at all emotionally loaded example, all of the firefighters could be financially catastrophic.

Cube tax applies to external dimensions only, wags.
DrBob, Feb 19 2010
  

       I like the idea, but I'd be surprised if I couldn't simply ask for an employee's pay grade and then a civil servant pay chart showing that pay grade.   

       True, it won't show me the source of funds; but local, state or national, all the money is coming out of my pocket anyway. Also true: that pay chart won't show me a contractor's salary, but I bet I can get a sheet showing the allocation for the project he's working on.
phoenix, Feb 19 2010
  

       // ask for an employee's pay grade and then a civil servant pay chart //   

       This would require two things that many taxpayers lack - "initiative" and "motivation". Actual active effort is required, rather than just staring at someone's name badge.
8th of 7, Feb 20 2010
  

       // ask for an employee's pay grade and then a civil servant pay chart //

A slight technical correction. Only central government employees are 'civil servants'.
DrBob, Feb 22 2010
  

       The easiest thing would be to require civil servants/public sector employees to adhere to the time recording approach prevalent in the world of professional services, and then have the badge display the specific database query return desired.
calum, Feb 22 2010
  

       I can't anser for the Civil Service but we already do that where work can be identified with specific projects, e.g. Engineering design time for building a new road.
DrBob, Feb 23 2010
  

       //Only central government employees are 'civil servants'//
So the rest are uncivil?
coprocephalous, Feb 23 2010
  

       Well probably, if I am any sort of benchmark.

I made the distinction because the Civil Service are employed on significantly better terms & conditions than many other public sector employees. As you might have detected from my previous annos, I tend to get a bit defensive on this topic because over the years I've encountered an awful lot of people who have read or heard something about 'Civil Service' pay or pensions and then assume that it applies to all public sector workers because 'you are all Civil Servants aren't you!' and then get outraged about how much we are costing the tax payer.
DrBob, Feb 23 2010
  

       One of my school friends called his band Quo Vadis. It never went anywhere though.
marklar, Feb 23 2010
  

       I've been wondering about the title of this badge. Instead of "Quo Vadis" (Where Are You Going?, or Whither Goest Thou?), shouldn't it be "Cui Bono" (Who Benefits? Or, more properly, For Whose Benefit Is It?) Or, perhaps less poetic but more to the point, "Quam Sumptus" (How Much Does It Cost?).
jurist, Feb 23 2010
  
      
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