More talk of Canberra job cuts from the Coalition

It was disappointing yet unsurprising to see the Liberals talking about job cuts in Canberra again today. My Federal Labor colleagues and I put out the below media statement about this.

MEDIA STATEMENT
22 August 2012

Gai Brodtmann MP
Federal Member for Canberra

Andrew Leigh MP
Federal Member for Fraser

Senator Kate Lundy
Senator for the Australian Capital Territory

PUBLIC SECTOR JOBS



In an article in today’s Australian Financial Review, Shadow Finance Minister Andrew Robb revealed Coalition plans to “outsource” key programs to state bureaucracies.

The Coalition announced 12,000 local job cuts at the last election. Since then, we’ve seen that number rise to 20,000 job cuts.

This is nothing new for the Coalition. Before the 1996 election, the Coalition said they would cut 2500 jobs. After winning office, more than 30,000 public servants lost their jobs.

The Opposition’s new policy, revealed in the AFR, will see the Commonwealth vacating the field in important areas such as health and education.

Commonwealth public servants provide important advice on big issues affecting our whole nation. Outsourcing this advice will see an increase in confusion for businesses and families with different systems in different states.

Slashing public service jobs in Canberra will affect the entire Canberra economy. In 1996-97, the impact of the Howard Government’s job cuts was to:

• Slash $25,000 from the price of the average Canberra home (in an era when house prices were much lower than they are today);
• Increase the ACT unemployment rate by 1 percentage point; and
• Increase personal bankruptcies in the ACT by around 100 bankruptcies per year.

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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