Public Sector Jobs

Along with Gai Brodtmann and Kate Lundy, I've put out a statement today regarding a claim in the Canberra Times that the efficiency dividend will cost jobs. See also a piece that I wrote for the Canberra Times recently on the negative impact that the Liberals' promised 12,000 job cuts will have on Canberra.

1 February 2012

Gai Brodtmann MP
Federal Member for Canberra

Andrew Leigh MP
Federal Member for Fraser

Senator Kate Lundy
Senator for the Australian Capital Territory


The figures presented in the Canberra Times today are not correct.

The Government believes it is important the public service continues to play its part in delivering savings to the Budget given tight fiscal conditions.

The Government expects agencies to continue to meet the efficiency dividend without resorting to forced redundancies.

We know the Liberal Party likes to boast about sacking 12,000 workers:

"For a start, 12,000 public servants in Canberra will be made redundant over a two-year period immediately upon us being elected."
HOCKEY – Q&A – 27 JUNE 2011

However we expect agencies to create savings in areas including: reductions in the use of big consultancy firms and contractors; replacing travel with the use of virtual meeting facilities; reductions in agency spend on hospitality and entertainment; minimising media and advertising expenditure; reductions in printing and publication expenditure, and more efficient and consistent delivery of training.

The future figures for wages and salaries used by the Canberra Times do not account for new policies that may be agreed to by government in future budgets.  Adjusting for this would change the projections.

The figures also do not reflect the Government’s expectation that agencies meet the Efficiency Dividend from non-salary expenditure.  This means in future years the wage and salary figures are expected to increase at the expense of non-wage and salary departmental expenditure.

Unlike the Liberals, we believe that a strong public service is essential to support the community and deliver critical government programs.

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