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12,000 Commonwealth jobs to go under Abbott

By Barcham - 17 May 2013 106

Tony Abbott reaffirmed his previous promise to remove 12,000 jobs from the public service during his budget reply speech if elected.

That is a lot of unemployed Canberrans.

The recommitment to slash public service positions comes just one night after Treasurer Wayne Swan allayed fears of mass redundancies by announcing that only around 1200 positions would not be replaced, a move that has transferred the unpopular burden of sackings squarely to the Coalition.

“We’ve announced that we’ll reduce by at least 12,000, through natural attrition, the size of the Commonwealth public sector that’s now 20,000 bureaucrats bigger than in 2007,” Mr Abbott told Parliament.

After substantial scene-setting and backgrounding that resulted in warnings from the federal branch of the Community and Public Sector Union that redundancies were a retrograde step, public servants have seen the dreaded efficiency dividend – a budget cut that must be extracted from existing resources – scaled back from 4 per cent in 2012-13 to 1.4 per cent in 2013-14.

While this will upset a great many people here in the ACT, at least you won’t have to worry about pay parking the the parliamentary triangle anymore.

What’s Your opinion?


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106 Responses to
12,000 Commonwealth jobs to go under Abbott
enrique 1:55 pm 17 May 13

On the one hand I’m inclined to say “relax, this is simply electioneering”. Canberra bashing, particular in regards to public servants is popular everywhere in Australia other than here in Canberra. It is likely just hot air from politicians trying to garner voter support.

However, they’ve done it once in recent times and could well do it again…

arescarti42 1:48 pm 17 May 13

Jim Jones said :

dungfungus said :

The whole country is suffering economic hardship

Really?

Where on earth are you getting this idea from? Our robust financial system is the envy of the western world.

Right…. Keep on drinking Swanny’s coolaid.

dungfungus 1:36 pm 17 May 13

curmudgery said :

Aw, c’mon Canberra. There’s a lot more voters living outside the ACT than in it and the idea of getting stuck into the ‘shiny-bums’ in Canberra will have wide appeal.

Then, after the election, there’ll be unforeseen issues, cleaning up the last government’s mess, changes in world economics, the need for a phased approach and so on.

After all, isn’t Tony from the same mob that gave us ‘non-core promises’?

We’ve heard it all before …

The other mob said “no carbon taxes”

curmudgery 1:08 pm 17 May 13

Aw, c’mon Canberra. There’s a lot more voters living outside the ACT than in it and the idea of getting stuck into the ‘shiny-bums’ in Canberra will have wide appeal.

Then, after the election, there’ll be unforeseen issues, cleaning up the last government’s mess, changes in world economics, the need for a phased approach and so on.

After all, isn’t Tony from the same mob that gave us ‘non-core promises’?

We’ve heard it all before …

dungfungus 12:58 pm 17 May 13

Jim Jones said :

dungfungus said :

If government spending was deducted from Australia’s GDP we would be in a recession like Europe.

Utter tosh.

Our debt to GDP ratio is the third lowest in the OECD and is one-fifth of the OECD average.

Where are you getting this doomsday rubbish from?

Have you checked our almighty dollar today? Its fall is too late to save us unfortunately.

allyroger 12:18 pm 17 May 13

Jim Jones said :

dungfungus said :

The whole country is suffering economic hardship

Really?

Where on earth are you getting this idea from? Our robust financial system is the envy of the western world.

Really?

Its not all unicorns and rainbows. My ex company in the Construction industry slashed 50% of its workforce in 12 months – that’s Australia wide including the mining states.

Jim Jones 12:01 pm 17 May 13

dungfungus said :

If government spending was deducted from Australia’s GDP we would be in a recession like Europe.

Utter tosh.

Our debt to GDP ratio is the third lowest in the OECD and is one-fifth of the OECD average.

Where are you getting this doomsday rubbish from?

Jim Jones 11:58 am 17 May 13

dungfungus said :

The whole country is suffering economic hardship

Really?

Where on earth are you getting this idea from? Our robust financial system is the envy of the western world.

dungfungus 11:55 am 17 May 13

Jim Jones said :

barbiekini said :

Is anyone else getting sick of all the negativity about what a Coalition government will do to Canberra? Yes 12,000 public servant jobs might go but they won’t all be in Canberra – there are Commonwealth public servants in the other states too. Most will go through natural attrition, and others will be retrenched and then most likely be back at the same desk the next week working for private contractors.

In 96, there were 11,000 jobs that went (8 per cent of the workforce) and Canberra had a recession.

‘Natural attrition’ of 12,000 … utter bollocks.

“In 96, there were 11,000 jobs that went (8 per cent of the workforce) and Canberra had a recession”.

You are still here and so am I so we all survived it. If government spending was deducted from Australia’s GDP we would be in a recession like Europe and they have been copping the job shedding as well, for a long time.
We are simply catching up with the economies of all those other countries that envied us.

dungfungus 11:50 am 17 May 13

barbiekini said :

Is anyone else getting sick of all the negativity about what a Coalition government will do to Canberra? Yes 12,000 public servant jobs might go but they won’t all be in Canberra – there are Commonwealth public servants in the other states too. Most will go through natural attrition, and others will be retrenched and then most likely be back at the same desk the next week working for private contractors.

The coalition, should they replace the Labor/Green/Independent minority government in the forthcoming September election, have openly stated they will eliminate 12,000 federal public service jobs over the first 2 years of their first term.
The current government has been covertly sacking the same numbers over the past 2 years so it’s really a “business as usual” situation to get the budget back to a surplus. Somehow the honesty of the coalition declaring their intention is worse than the hypocrisy of the government attacking the coalition for this while secretly doing the same thing.
Some people will unjustly refer to this as coalition “negativity”, go figure that one.
The budget papers released by the government on Tuesday night reveal that 1078 jobs at the Department of Human Services were shed in the last 6 months of 2012 and a further 1340 jobs will be cut in 2013-14. Meanwhile, the department is spending $30 million hiring casual and short-term labour as it deals with shedding more than 2400 of its permanent staff.
The whole country is suffering economic hardship so why should Canberrans be spared?

steveu 11:50 am 17 May 13

DHS managed to get rid of 1078 staff in 6 months through natural attrition (read:making life as uncomfortable for people as possible in order to get them to leave, I would suggest).
(http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/public-service/30m-for-casuals-as-department-of-human-services-cuts-2400-jobs-20130516-2jpob.html)

It has 36,000 staff nationwide admittedly, and that 1078 number is nationwide not just canberra.
Though it seems to me that if one agency can do this in 6 months, then say over 3 years 12,000 is feasible.

I can see a few relocated Canberrans in this exercise however.

I still see the key thing is the reduction of the efficiency dividend, which is actually giving money back to agencies technically, which they have done without with for a good couple of years now.

As for an additional 20,000 staff. IMHO Project Management frameworks and Contract Management/Procurement requirements have, in my opinion, increased the labour required on programs and projects in general, which has caused an increase in staff.

Will be interesting if their expectations of the Commonwealth APS in terms of service delivery are now reduced if they have 12,000 people less to deal with.

Jim Jones 11:39 am 17 May 13

barbiekini said :

Is anyone else getting sick of all the negativity about what a Coalition government will do to Canberra? Yes 12,000 public servant jobs might go but they won’t all be in Canberra – there are Commonwealth public servants in the other states too. Most will go through natural attrition, and others will be retrenched and then most likely be back at the same desk the next week working for private contractors.

In 96, there were 11,000 jobs that went (8 per cent of the workforce) and Canberra had a recession.

‘Natural attrition’ of 12,000 … utter bollocks.

Ben_Dover 11:32 am 17 May 13

Much as I tend to the right of centre in my politics on most, but not all, issues, I could not hand on heart swear I would vote for any party with Abbott as leader.

barbiekini 11:20 am 17 May 13

Is anyone else getting sick of all the negativity about what a Coalition government will do to Canberra? Yes 12,000 public servant jobs might go but they won’t all be in Canberra – there are Commonwealth public servants in the other states too. Most will go through natural attrition, and others will be retrenched and then most likely be back at the same desk the next week working for private contractors.

HiddenDragon 11:15 am 17 May 13

I have no doubt that they are determined to make big cuts, for financial and philosophical reasons, but these numbers, if anything, make less sense after Abbott’s speech last night – particularly his commitment that proposals to clarify Commonwealth and State/Territory responsibilities would be put to the people at the election after next. If that commitment means that the really big (potential) savings in health, education, environment etc. are on hold for a few years, and Defence and security are exempt (apparently), and with a new government presumably relying heavily on the central agencies (albeit with some renovations) it is very difficult to see how 12,000 APS staff could quickly be cut in Canberra – even with compulsory redundancies, let alone by natural attrition and redeployment.

As I said on the related thread yesterday [http://the-riotact.com/aps-job-cuts-whats-really-going-to-happen/103159], we need somewhat more detail on the Liberals’ plans for public administration – what we have at present is a broad statement of intent which, if implemented as presently stated, would not just cause chaos and misery in Canberra, but could also cause big problems for a new Government with policies and plans of its own to implement. On the latter point, Howard’s near death experience in 1998 should be a salutary reminder that a very big parliamentary majority is no guarantee of a second term if enough stuff-ups occur in a first term – the avoidance of unnecessary convulsions in the APS would be useful in this regard.

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