Australians say public service cuts will hurt services and the disadvantaged: media release
24 September 2012, 3:43pm
New polling shows Australians believe public service job cuts will lead to worse services, hurt the disadvantaged and increase unemployment.
The Community and Public Sector Union says the poll shows that Australians understand the link between cutting public sector jobs and the reduction in quality of essential public services.
Research by Essential Media – done around the State public sector cuts - found that a clear majority of Australians thought that the rate of unemployment (61 per cent), delivery of public services (54 per cent) and the welfare of disadvantaged Australians (53 per cent) would get worse under the cuts.
Despite claims by State Governments that these cuts are necessary to balance budgets, Australians remain sceptical – with only 18 per cent believing that State Government budgets would improve, and 42 per cent saying they would get worse.
CPSU Assistant National Secretary Louise Persse said that the results showed the public’s deep dislike of cuts to public services, and should send a message to Federal politicians looking to use public service cuts to save money in the short-term.
“Despite the spin from Liberal State Governments, the majority of Australians know that public servants provide essential services for the whole community. They know that the public service can not be used as an inexhaustible source of savings without compromising the quality of services,” Ms Persse said.
“Commonwealth public servants are already struggling to deal with a $2.4 billion Budget reduction and 4200 job cuts caused by the Federal Government's increased ‘efficiency dividend'.
"But Tony Abbott’s Coalition is threatening to make even bigger cuts, getting rid of at least 12,000 public sector jobs and slashing $50-70 billion in government spending if it is elected.
"It is impossible to implement cuts of this size without reducing services and damaging the long-term capacity of the public service."
Today’s polling found that 39 per cent of people believed a future Abbott Government would be bad for the public sector, while only 30 per cent thought it would be good.
“It is clear that Mr Abbott’s ideological approach of taking a chainsaw to the public service is not what the Australian people want,” Ms Persse said.
“The drop in support for State Governments who have implemented mass redundancies of public sector workers shows that Australians want properly-funded public services.” The CPSU recently launched its “Cuts Hurt” campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of public sector cuts. For more information, or to get involved in the campaign, visit www.cutshurt.com.au
For comment call Jess Nelson, CPSU Communications Officer on 0459168514