Media alert: CPSU slams Swan’s comments on public sector job cuts
1 May 2011, 11:35am
Treasurer Wayne Swan’s comment on “Meet The Press” this morning that he does not expect any “forced job losses” is an admission that frontline public services will be reduced as a result of this year’s budget, the Community and Public Sector Union said today.
CPSU national secretary Nadine Flood said Mr Swan’s comments were an
admission that jobs and services would continue to be cut, through
voluntary redundancies and staff freezes, and the Government’s broken
election promise not to increase the “efficiency dividend”.
“Mr Swan’s comments confirm there’ll be significant program cuts in next
Tuesday’s budget which will reduce frontline services to Australians,”
Ms Flood said.
“The government has gone from promising not to change the efficiency
dividend, to promising no cuts to overall public service numbers, to
today’s weak comments about ‘no forced job losses’,” Ms Flood said.
“Mr Swan is trying to balance the budget on short-term public service
cuts which will damage the ability of agencies like Centrelink, Medicare
and border security agencies to do their jobs.
“We know that many agencies, including Centrelink, are already offering
voluntary redundancies and others are operating under a freeze on new
“These cuts are damaging these agencies ability to serve the community
and are going to get worse under the Federal Government’s increased
The Federal Government has already announced it will increase the
“efficiency dividend” to 1.5 per cent for all portfolios, breaking an
election commitment to maintain it at 1.25%.
Ms Flood said the efficiency dividend was a blunt instrument which would
inevitably result in cuts to services that the Australian public
“The Federal Government has made this decision. It can not shift the
blame to public service agencies, which will be forced to reduce
services to meet the 1.5 per cent target,” Ms Flood said.
“Agencies can’t choose to pay 1.5 per cent less of their rent or
electricity bill, so the only way to meet these cuts is to shed staff
and reduce services.”
“Public servants are increasingly being asked to do more with less, and
these cuts will just reduce their ability to serve the public.”
“We do not want short-term cuts which might balance this year’s budget
but will lead to worse services for years to come.” The increase in the
efficiency dividend is set to strip $476 million from the Australian
Public Service in 2011-12.