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.