Detailed analysis of the Budget papers has revealed the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government plans to sack more than 2000 Home Affairs workers, if the Liberal’s plan to privatise Australia’s visa processing system is implemented.
The Portfolio Budget Statement for Home Affairs, released last month, indicates the department’s funding allocated to cover pay and other employee benefits will be cut by more than $150 million next financial year.
Calculations by the CPSU indicate the cuts would equate to the Government slashing at least 1600 jobs in that period, with the number of cuts rising to around 2200 by 2022-23.
CPSU National Secretary Nadine Flood said: “These wages figures in the Budget papers are cut and dried evidence that the Coalition’s dangerously flawed plan to privatise Australia’s visa processing system will mean slashing at least 2000 jobs in Home Affairs in the next four years. That means sacking about 15 per cent of this agency’s entire workforce, so their critical work assessing visas can be handed over to a profit-hungry corporation.”
“We have calculated this huge number of jobs at risk conservatively, based on the staffing costs through to 2022-23 that are provided as usual in the Budget papers and assuming a 2 per cent rise in annual staffing costs. The wages bill for Home Affairs drops off a cliff at exactly the same time as the Government’s privatised visa processing system is scheduled to kick off, so there’s no other credible reason to explain a drop of this magnitude.”
“Home Affairs Secretary Mike Pezzullo have been providing cover for the Government by saying his preference is to redeploy visa processing staff, knowing full well that he won’t have the money to pay these workers once the private system comes online. This sneaky approach shows why so many Home Affairs staff have lost confidence in Secretary Pezzullo and his Executive.”
“The Government has been trying to keep this scheme quiet, knowing that the Australian public hate the privatisation of public assets and functions, especially one as critical as deciding who gets to come into our country. That’s why we’re so determined to make sure that every voter knows that a vote for the Coalition is a vote for selling off our visa processing system.”
“We believe the Government is planning to replace most if not all of these workers with a fully automated process, trusting the technology that brought us robo-debt for the issuing of visas. This isn’t about improving our visa system, but handing control of it to the highest bidder. The Australian public need to reject this privatisation agenda by voting this Government out, and instead choosing Australian jobs and retaining public control of our visa system.”