Liberal MP labels Canberra a burden on the taxpayer - Media Release

SENATOR KATY GALLAGHER
SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE
SENATOR FOR THE AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
 
ALICIA PAYNE MP
MEMBER FOR CANBERRA
 
ANDREW LEIGH MP
MEMBER FOR FENNER
 
DAVID SMITH MP
MEMBER FOR BEAN

LIBERAL MP LABELS CANBERRA A BURDEN ON THE TAXPAYER

A Liberal MP has gone rogue and devalued the important role that the Australian Public Service (APS) plays in our democratic system of government.

While debating the Morrison Government’s plan to cut the aged pension and Newstart Allowance, Tim Wilson, Member for Goldstein responded to a speech by Member for Canberra, Alicia Payne MP, and claimed:

“After all the whole basis of the Canberra economy is, literally, government. The raiding of tax payers’ hip pockets for the benefit of the few.”

Earlier in the year, during a panel interview with Andrew Leigh, Wilson referred to Canberra as “a massive government bureaucracy” that is “cushioned from the reality of where people actually make money and make investments off their private capital”.

These comments demonstrate a complete lack of understanding of the Canberra economy as well as the work that the public services does.

Tim Wilson is at best completely ill-informed, or at worst deliberately misleading the Parliament - even accounting for the ACT public service, a majority of Canberrans work in the private sector.

Here are the facts:

  • More than 62.5% of the APS work outside of Canberra and 70% work in service delivery or implementation roles.
  • Canberra has borne the brunt of the Liberals’ cuts to the public service – with 9,142 job cuts since June 2013 and 1,883 in the last financial year.
  • Canberra is a town of Government, but APS employment as a percentage of the workforce has decreased from 32% in 2011 to 28% percent in 2016. Over 5,000 jobs gone and this doesn’t account for the recent 1,883 jobs cut.
  • 25,464 Victorians are employed by the APS, including 560 people in southeast Melbourne which takes in Goldstein.

The APS is an impartial institution that not only enables his Government to implement it’s agenda, but more importantly works every day to provide crucial services to Australians right across the country.

Public servants perform a critical role in our democracy by developing policies and delivering services to help keep Australians safe, regulate corporate conduct and support vulnerable members of our community.

He needs to stop sprouting the lines fed to him by the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) and do his job as a mature MP, as challenging as that might be.

ENDS

Authorised by  Paul Erickson, ALP, Canberra.

 


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Cnr Gungahlin Pl and Efkarpidis Street, Gungahlin ACT 2912 | 02 6247 4396 | Andrew.Leigh.MP@aph.gov.au | Authorised by A. Leigh MP, Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch), Canberra.