A real public sector pay crisis

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Argentina cashNatacha Pisarenko/AP/Press Association Images

If you think pay freezes, disappointing pay increases, and the death of promotion is making public sector life in the UK intolerable, then spare a thought for state employees in one town in Argentina, where they are holding a lottery to decide who gets paid.

So what's going on?

The lottery

The town, Bialet Masse, has 5,000 inhabitants and is almost 500 miles north of Buenos Aires. It usually receives a healthy handout from the provincial government, but the cash has run dry, and it has resorted to holding a raffle to pick which of the state employees will be paid.


The mayor Gustavo Pueyo told the region on Buenos Aires private radio station Radio Mitre that the raffle had been approved by the authorities. The first one was last Friday, when 23 of the 92 employees in town were paid.

Argentina's economy is still growing at 4%, which the rest of the world would give their eye teeth for. However, for an economy that was powering ahead at 8% this is a bit of a comedown, and those who were relying on growth to make ends meet have come down with a bang.

Not the first

It seems crazy, but you don't have to travel as far as Argentina to discover a raffle dictating people's lives. Earlier this year, agency workers brought in to clean the streets in Edinburgh saw the organisation draw lots to decide who would be made redundant.

It makes the postcode lottery seem like a fair fight.

But what do you think? Let us know in the comments.

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