Coalition axe to cut another $1.5b and 3000 jobs from public sector

The CPSU says the Coalition’s plans to slash another $1.5 billion from Commonwealth agencies will mean at least 3000 jobs are cut and underlines why a change of government is urgently needed to provide quality services and public sector jobs.

The Coalition has today released its election costings, revealing that a re-elected Coalition government would renege on its previous funding commitments and instead impose a further $1.5 billion dollars in cuts to Commonwealth agencies through the so-called efficiency dividend. 

By contrast, the Labor Party has committed to reduce the efficiency dividend next year, returning $500 million to agencies in addition to other critical changes including scrapping the arbitrary staffing cap, reining in wasteful spending on contractors, consultants and labour hire, adding 1200 DHS jobs and providing real wage increases for public sector workers.

CPSU National Secretary Nadine Flood said: “This $1.5 billion dollar cut to Commonwealth agencies, putting 3000 jobs at risk, is the Coalition’s final insult to public sector workers and all Australians who rely on the essential services they provide. Labor has adopted detailed and sensible policies to rebuild public sector jobs, capacity and services, while the Liberal and National parties have now confirmed they’re promising nothing but more damaging cuts and dysfunction.”

“These figures show the Coalition is planning to sack at least another 3000 people working in Commonwealth agencies, causing even more damage to essential services the Australian people rely on such as Centrelink and Medicare. The Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government has been pillaging the public sector for six years, selling it off to private interests piece by piece, and these 11th hour costings show they’re planning more of the same if they’re re-elected.”

“This is how dodgy deals for the top end of town from the party that worships trickle-down economics work. They slash essential services and the jobs to provide them, causing disasters like robo-debt and over 40 million unanswered calls in Centrelink, then use that money to funnel generous contracts to the big end of town. Even in the handful of agencies that would be exempt from these Coalition cuts, like the NDIA, their arbitrary cap on staffing numbers will continue to do tremendous damage and hold these agencies from providing the decent services that the general public need and deserve.”

“It beggars belief that this mob is criticising Labor for its plans to cut off the billions of dollars the Coalition has siphoned from Commonwealth agencies into the pockets of multinational companies like EY, Deloitte, PwC and KPMG. These consulting firms have tripled the amount they’re reaping from Commonwealth contracts since the Coalition came to power, and their political donations to the Liberal Party reflect that fact. The Coalition are trying to trick and confuse people rather than being honest about their neoliberal agenda.”

“The difference between the Coalition and Labor plans for the efficiency dividend tell the real story about their commitment to Commonwealth agencies and the essential jobs and services they provide. The Liberal and National parties are planning to rip another $1.5 billion out of agencies that have already been decimated by their previous cuts, while Labor will restore $500 million in funding and stop the contractor and consultant gravy train. Labor is not cutting 3000 plus workers, but creating new jobs including 1200 in the Department of Human Services alone, and scrapping the ASL cap so that agencies can directly employ more people rather than using labour hire  and contractors.”