Efficiency dividend bumping up to 4%

johnboy 31 August 2012 24

The Financial Review has the very bad news for the public service here in Canberra that a newer and bigger efficiency dividend is going to be imposed:

Cabinet ministers have been told the expenditure review committee of cabinet will impose a further “efficiency dividend” on the federal bureaucracy, in addition to the on-going 1.5 per cent dividend and an additional, one-off 2.5 percentage-point boost dividend imposed last November. That took the dividend – in effect, enforced spending cuts – in 2012-13 to 4 per cent.

However, the government is apparently looking for another name for the across-the-board cut to the federal bureaucracy, which is already enduring a reduction in staffing numbers by 4200 over a two-year period.

Individual departments are being told how many positions they will have to shed as part of the savings measure. It comes as the mid-year review of the budget once again is turned into a mini-budget to rein in costs to offset spending blowouts and revenue shortfalls to keep the surplus forecast this financial year on track.


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24 Responses to Efficiency dividend bumping up to 4%
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banco banco 6:32 pm 31 Aug 12

In a Department I’m familiar with there are more than a few SES without branches yet they don’t get cut. Instead they get rid of the 4-6’s.

SnapperJack SnapperJack 5:24 pm 31 Aug 12

Deref said :

davo101 said :

I just wish they’d drop the newspeak. The “efficiency dividend” has nothing at all to do with efficiency, perhaps they could just be more honest and call it a budget cut.

Bingo.

Who are the morons who think up this idiotic spin – and do they really think anyone falls for it?

A bit like in the 1980s when they thought up the expression “Management initiated early retirement” meaning “the sack”.

LSWCHP LSWCHP 4:06 pm 31 Aug 12

Deref said :

davo101 said :

I just wish they’d drop the newspeak. The “efficiency dividend” has nothing at all to do with efficiency, perhaps they could just be more honest and call it a budget cut.

Bingo.

Who are the morons who think up this idiotic spin – and do they really think anyone falls for it?

They’re not morons, they’re very smart people. And rest assured that the dimwitted do indeed fall for it in droves. Consider the US “Patriot Act”, which was a masterstroke of manipulation. The legislation itself was an appalling agglomeration of human rights abuses, but anybody who opposed the act was behind the eight-ball right from the start, because they could be accused of being “unpatriotic”.

Similarly with the “efficiency dividend”. Verbal trickery of this nature allows the perpetrators to start the fight from ground of their own choosing, and as you can see from the terminology it’s the (moral) high ground. The effect is that the debate is translated from the reality of “budget cuts” to nebulous and ill-defined matters of “efficiency”, and everybody is misdirected into wasting their time arguing about irrelevancies.

This linguistic sleight-of-hand is extremely effective out there in “Convoy to Canberra” land, and to write off the authors as morons is to seriously underestimate the enemy.

JessP JessP 3:10 pm 31 Aug 12

Deref said :

davo101 said :

I just wish they’d drop the newspeak. The “efficiency dividend” has nothing at all to do with efficiency, perhaps they could just be more honest and call it a budget cut.

Bingo.

Who are the morons who think up this idiotic spin – and do they really think anyone falls for it?

artuoui said :

colourful sydney racing identity said :

great choice, a party that tells you it’s your friend and knifes you in the back versus one which will looks you in the eye and tells you, before it knifes you in the stomach…

its an even nicer choice when you know that your union is using member’s union dues to pay affiliation fees to the party that knifes you in the back.

A cut is a cut is a cut. No matter how they try and spin it, no matter what party, people have to lose jobs.

bd84 said :

Ah the hypocrisy of Julia Gillard, only a few days ago she was going after Tony Abbott for saying he will cut jobs, when she was already planning the same thing through the disguise of efficiency dividends.

+1000 And whats to bet the CPSU will mysteriously say nothing about this…..

dungfungus dungfungus 2:25 pm 31 Aug 12

Madam Cholet said :

Andrew Leigh was on 666 this morning swearing blind that he knew nothing about it and that it is scaremongering. Didn’t seem to have much to say when a couple of PS callers suggested that they have been working on finding more dividends than first asked for.

There are very few vacant positions being advertised in the Federal and ACT Public Services. There have been big cutbacks in graduate programmes as well. There a lot of underemployed graduates out there with “diplomas of international pizza making”.

Deref Deref 1:15 pm 31 Aug 12

davo101 said :

I just wish they’d drop the newspeak. The “efficiency dividend” has nothing at all to do with efficiency, perhaps they could just be more honest and call it a budget cut.

Bingo.

Who are the morons who think up this idiotic spin – and do they really think anyone falls for it?

StumpyPete StumpyPete 1:07 pm 31 Aug 12

devus said :

Mysteryman said :

They have to get their magical surplus somehow, and it clearly wasn’t coming from sensible spending.

What I don’t understand is why they don’t just diddle the numbers… even more, that is. The numbers are already meaningless rubbish, no-one will care if they fudge their assumptions a touch more, so that the budget stays a few million over. The error bars might be a few hundred million, but that’s okay – no-one even understands them, let alone gives a toss – especially journos.

Devrus,

The problem is that you can’t fiddle the final numbers. While the forecasts and projections can involve some trickery, the final budget numbers are the collation of each agency’s audited statements so there is no room to hide.

It is worth noting that the final budget outcome for the 2012-13 financial year will come out in around September 2013 which is about when the next election could occur.

Regards

S. Pete

Thumper Thumper 12:50 pm 31 Aug 12

Madam Cholet said :

Andrew Leigh was on 666 this morning swearing blind that he knew nothing about it and that it is scaremongering. Didn’t seem to have much to say when a couple of PS callers suggested that they have been working on finding more dividends than first asked for.

Scaremongering.

Ah, so that’s what they call it when you shove your head in the sand.

PantsMan PantsMan 12:43 pm 31 Aug 12

Just in time for the Public Service Amendment Bill 2012, which allows SES officer to be given an “incentive to retire” even if they have not reached retirement age.

devus devus 12:34 pm 31 Aug 12

Mysteryman said :

They have to get their magical surplus somehow, and it clearly wasn’t coming from sensible spending.

What I don’t understand is why they don’t just diddle the numbers… even more, that is. The numbers are already meaningless rubbish, no-one will care if they fudge their assumptions a touch more, so that the budget stays a few million over. The error bars might be a few hundred million, but that’s okay – no-one even understands them, let alone gives a toss – especially journos.

colourful sydney racing identity colourful sydney racing identity 12:13 pm 31 Aug 12

artuoui said :

colourful sydney racing identity said :

great choice, a party that tells you it’s your friend and knifes you in the back versus one which will looks you in the eye and tells you, before it knifes you in the stomach…

its an even nicer choice when you know that your union is using member’s union dues to pay affiliation fees to the party that knifes you in the back.

Agreed, I find it appalling that my union donates money to my employer.

dtc dtc 11:58 am 31 Aug 12

mossrocket said :

It’s a shame that the only efficiencies either side of politics (and the rabble of old people whom are the Senior Executive SErvice) understand is through the reduction of staff…

There are several billion dollars in funding/programs that could be cut without anyone actually noticing, beyond a very small number of grant recipients

That said, 50%+ of the budget is in health and Centrelink payments, which you are generally stuck with. So the ‘discretionary’ part of expenditure (that you can cut) is reduced

Mysteryman Mysteryman 11:19 am 31 Aug 12

I thought it was already at 4%….?

They have to get their magical surplus somehow, and it clearly wasn’t coming from sensible spending.

Thumper Thumper 11:18 am 31 Aug 12

colourful sydney racing identity said :

great choice, a party that tells you it’s your friend and knifes you in the back versus one which will looks you in the eye and tells you, before it knifes you in the stomach…

And that is about it.

Madam Cholet Madam Cholet 11:11 am 31 Aug 12

Andrew Leigh was on 666 this morning swearing blind that he knew nothing about it and that it is scaremongering. Didn’t seem to have much to say when a couple of PS callers suggested that they have been working on finding more dividends than first asked for.

bd84 bd84 11:08 am 31 Aug 12

Ah the hypocrisy of Julia Gillard, only a few days ago she was going after Tony Abbott for saying he will cut jobs, when she was already planning the same thing through the disguise of efficiency dividends.

mossrocket mossrocket 11:04 am 31 Aug 12

It’s a shame that the only efficiencies either side of politics (and the rabble of old people whom are the Senior Executive SErvice) understand is through the reduction of staff…

I can’t understand why we aren’t looking at ways to ‘work smarter’ – like a standardized, open-source, IT environment (one Content Managament System, one Client Relationship Management system etc)

The APS is no larger than a single big US company – yet we treat ourselves like giant stupid silos…

artuoui artuoui 11:04 am 31 Aug 12

colourful sydney racing identity said :

great choice, a party that tells you it’s your friend and knifes you in the back versus one which will looks you in the eye and tells you, before it knifes you in the stomach…

its an even nicer choice when you know that your union is using member’s union dues to pay affiliation fees to the party that knifes you in the back.

greyswandir greyswandir 10:57 am 31 Aug 12

To be completely honest I do think the APS is inefficient.

So much time and money seems to be wasted on ‘restructuring’ and ‘streamlining’ which then gets reversed or changed again twelve months down the track. Not to mention the workload I personally have experienced (obviously can only speak to my own experience) is minimal compared to my experience in a small private enterprise.

Maybe I’m the exception rather than the rule, I don’t know. But if the beast is to be made efficient I don’t think making swathes of people redundant is the way to do it.

p1 p1 10:57 am 31 Aug 12

Excellent. This department will become another couple of percent less efficient.

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