Abbott's public service cuts will hurt ordinary Australians
2 August 2012, 3:41pm
Opposition leader Tony Abbott
Tony Abbott has demonstrated his cavalier attitude to public services with his endorsement of Queensland Premier Campbell Newman's savage public sector job cuts.
Speaking in Queensland today, Mr Abbott repeated his promise to permanently reduce the size of the federal public sector if he is elected, without recognising the impact these cuts would have on essential services such as Centrelink and Customs.
CPSU National Secretary Nadine Flood said that Mr Abbott's cuts would damage agencies already struggling under budget pressure and reduce access to services.
"Mr Abbott needs to come clean on exactly what his cuts will mean, not just for public sector workers, but for all Australians," said Ms Flood.
"The Coalition has announced it would make an initial cut of at least 12,000 jobs from the federal public service. But it has also promised to find $70 billion worth of Government savings - something it could only achieve by gutting crucial services.
"Frontline services such as Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support would struggle to help vulnerable Australians. Border protection would also be compromised," said Ms Flood.
Mr Abbott's claim that private sector growth in Queensland will create enough jobs for sacked state public servants is insensitive.
"Many of these cuts will hit public sector women working in regional centres where jobs are scarce," said Ms Flood.
"Public servants are real people with families and mortgages. They do not deserve to be treated as a political football by politicians with an ideological set against the public service.
"There is growing community unease across Australia about the deep cuts being imposed by Liberal/National Governments in NSW, Victoria and now Queensland.
"These Governments were elected with little scrutiny of their policies. Once in office, they have all made major cuts to public services with no regard for staff or the public.
"We are calling on Mr Abbott to let Australian voters know whether he intends to follow the Liberal Party playbook on public services at the Federal level. Will he be cutting more than the 12,000 jobs already on the Liberal's chopping block?" said Ms Flood.
To arrange media comment with Nadine Flood, please call Dermot Browne on 0408 265 081