Regional bureaucrats’ pay in 2012 seen topping national civil servants’

JIJI

Total salaries of local and prefectural public servants in fiscal 2012 are projected to exceed those of national bureaucrats for the first time in nine years, according to the Finance Ministry.

The index for salaries of local and prefectural civil servants for the fiscal year through next March stands at 106.9 against 100 for central government salaries.

Pay for national civil servants is being reduced by an average of 7.8 percent for two years to help come up with money to rebuild after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami last year.

The estimate was presented Thursday during a meeting of a subcommittee of the Fiscal System Council, which advises the finance minister. In response to the estimate, many members of the subcommittee called on local governments to cut salaries and the central government to slash tax revenue grants to locales.

Participants also discussed spending related to education and postdisaster reconstruction.

They basically agreed to rethink the number of teachers for public elementary and junior high schools due to the decline in children. The education ministry is calling for more teachers in its fiscal 2013 budget request.

Bureaucratic graying

More than 10 percent of civil servants in major cities will turn 60 over the next decade, the Development Bank of Japan said in a recent estimate.

The DBJ called for authorities across the country to work together to effectively use these veteran officials, pointing out that the top-heavy age structure will likely hinder appropriate personnel placement.