CPSU warns jobs and services could still be lost in Federal Government budget cuts: media release
25 September 2012, 10:32am
The Community and Public Sector Union says even though the Federal Government says it is not "targeting" jobs in its latest round of budget cuts, jobs and services could still be lost as the Government cuts an extra $550 million from public service budgets over four years.
The Federal Government today announced the savings target, saying the money would mostly go through greater efficiencies in booking travel, using teleconferencing, engaging less consultants, advertising jobs online and cutting printing costs.
CPSU Assistant National Secretary Louise Persse said that the Government’s focus on minimising job losses is welcome, but warned that cuts to agency’s budgets have a cumulative affect and members report they are struggling with recent funding reductions.
“Federal public servants are already trying to deal with a $2.4 billion Budget reduction and 4200 job cuts caused by the Federal Government's increased ‘efficiency dividend' for the 2012/2013 financial year.
“We are concerned some agencies are now so squeezed they won’t have any other option but to look at staffing, and cuts to staff will inevitably lead to cuts for services to Australians.
“When the efficiency dividend was announced last November the Government said agencies were expected to meet it by reducing travel costs, consultants and printing. Yet nine months later the Government is expecting agencies to find more savings in those areas," Ms Persse said.
Compared to most OECD countries, Australia has a modest sized public sector. The APS is the same size today as it was in 1991 yet our population has grown by 5 million people.
“We’ll continue to ask our members what impact these cuts are having on them and their work as part of our Cuts Hurt campaign,” Ms Persse said.
Ms Persse said the CPSU was even more concerned by the Coalition’s plans to cut 12,000 public sector jobs and slash $50-70 billion from Government spending.
"It is impossible to implement cuts of this size without reducing services and damaging the long-term capacity of the public service."
Polling earlier this week by Essential Media 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.
To arrange further comment call CPSU Communications Officer Jess Nelson on 0459 168 514