28 August 2012
Opposition leader Tony Abbott is “softening up” the community so that he can do to the Commonwealth Public Service what Premier Campbell Newman was doing in Queensland, Minister for the Public Service Gary Gray said today.
Mr Gray said it had been widely reported that 4000 public service workers had been shed in Queensland and more cuts were predicted in Queensland’s budget next month.
And Queensland Premier Newman confirmed on ABC TV’s Lateline last night that Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey were ‘incredibly supportive’ of his approach to slicing and dicing public servants jobs.
“Today, in Rockhampton, Mr Abbott began softening up the community by continuously misrepresenting the size of the Australian Public Service – today he again claimed it had grown by 20,000 since 2007 when the true and official figure is 12,000,” Mr Gray said.
Mr Abbott’s claim includes Defence personnel and other areas of the government sector not normally considered public servants. More information is here.
“Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey has also incorrectly quoted the size of the public service on 11 separate occasions and has refused to clarify his own plans to cut 20,000 jobs in the broad government sector.
“Are they suggesting they would cut jobs in the military, federal police and ASIO?"
“This comes on the back of the Shadow Finance Minister, Andrew Robb’s plan to ‘outsource’ health and education programs to state bureaucracies.
“If Tony Abbott becomes Prime Minister, he is going to slash and burn public service jobs and then abrogate his constitutional responsibilities to the States.
“How can we trust Campbell Newman when he cuts 4000 staff but didn’t tell anyone before his election?
“How can we trust Barry O’Farrell to deliver on a National Disability Insurance Scheme after he stripped funding from special needs schools? And how can we trust Ted Baillieu on education funding after he ripped funding from the TAFE sector?
“Even the most savage cuts to the Australian Public Service couldn’t fill the Opposition’s $70 billion budget black hole and must impact on the delivery of vital services that Australian people need.”
Mr Gray said the efficiency dividend that the Australian Government imposed on its bureaucracies was already at record high levels, forcing departments to make savings.“The Commonwealth is requiring whatever fat there is in the public service to be squeezed out and that is driving greater efficiencies in service delivery.”
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