Gallagher slams Zed’s hypocrisy on Coalition’s $1.5b public service cut

Ian Bushnell 18 May 2021 20

Katy Gallagher: APS the fall guy for Coalition’s other spending promises. Photo: George Tsotsos.

Canberra’s public servants can look forward to more belt-tightening under a Coalition Government with an announcement that it will cut $1.5 billion from the Public Service to pay for election promises.

The Community and Public Sector Union says the cut will equate to 3000 jobs.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Minister for Finance and the Public Service Mathias Cormann, announcing the costing of its policies, said the efficiency dividend would be maintained at 2 per cent over the next two years, reducing to 1.5 per cent in 2021-22 and 1 per cent the following year.

Labor has promised to forego 0.5 per cent of the the efficiency dividend from next financial year and scrap the staffing cap but the Coalition claims ALP policy to cut contractors and consultants amounts to a $2.1 billion cut to the public service, $600 million more than the Coalition.

ACT Liberal Senator Zed Seselja has labelled the Labor savings measure an overall reduction in departmental spending, or a 2.5 per cent efficiency dividend.

But Labor Senate candidate Katy Gallagher says the Senator is a hypocrite and the Liberals have shown Canberrans exactly what they stand for this election.

“The Liberals stand for cuts to the APS that will not only hurt local families, but will damage our economy,” she said.

“Zed’s hypocrisy on cuts to the APS is breathtaking especially when yesterday he was spreading lies about Labor’s plans to manage the APS, while at the same time his party was preparing to make the APS the fall guy for their other spending promises.”

Mr Frydenberg and Senator Cormann said in a statement that additional spending on election commitments by the Coalition, beyond what was already factored into the 2019-20 Budget, had been modest and had been more than offset by additional savings.

“Since the Budget delivered on 2 April 2019, the Coalition has made $1.4 billion in new spending commitments over the forward estimates, building to $3.8 billion over the medium term,” they said.

“This is more than offset by a reduction in departmental funding of $1.5 billion over the forward estimates, building to $5 billion over the medium term.”

They said the Coalition would leave it to departmental secretaries to decide where efficiencies could best be found.

“If departmental secretaries assess that these efficiencies can best be secured through reductions in expenditure on contractors, consultants and travel, because that makes sense from a value-for-money point of view, then of course that is what the Coalition would expect them to do.

“Efficiency outcomes will be better and more sensible by letting departmental secretaries make those judgments based on value-for-money considerations.”

Agencies that won’t be affected by the Coalition’s cut include the National Disability Insurance Agency, financial regulators APRA and ASIC; cultural institutions the Australian War Memorial, National Archives of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, National Library of Australia and National Museum of Australia; agencies with fewer than 200 staff; and the Australian Signals Directorate and Office of National Intelligence.

Existing exemptions for the ABC, SBS and Safe Work Australia will also be extended.

ACT Greens Senate candidate Dr Penny Kyburz said the Coalition statement was another appalling attack on the public service and its ability to deliver essential services.
“On the eve of the election, to make this announcement shows their continued disregard for Canberra and the hard-working public servants who are struggling to fulfil their remits, with ever-dwindling resources,” she said.
“The Greens will abolish the efficiency dividend, restore the public service so that they can do their jobs, provide the wage increases that have been lacking under the Coalition government, and limit the outsourcing to consultancies and contractors.”
“Labor’s Senate seat in the ACT is safe. The second seat will come down to Zed or the Greens. This announcement is the final straw: Zed has to go. The most powerful way to make that happen is to vote one Greens.”

Labor has also pledged to add 1200 new permanent and full-time Department of Human Services staff; reduce spending on travel by 10 per cent, and reduce the fragmentation of APS pay and conditions.

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20 Responses to Gallagher slams Zed’s hypocrisy on Coalition’s $1.5b public service cut
Kerri Hallas Kerri Hallas 4:32 pm 18 May 19

Don’t worry Katy, Zed just keeps shooting himself in the foot...

David Vickers David Vickers 10:55 am 18 May 19

Hypocrisy is in the eye of the beholder.

Angus Bucknell Angus Bucknell 7:01 pm 17 May 19

I attended the candidates presentation this evening in Garema place. No appearance from Zed or the Nazi candidate

Nicole McGuire Nicole McGuire 6:39 pm 17 May 19

Little miss triple double standards. Thanks for f-ing up Canberra love. Not!

Janette Condon Janette Condon 6:28 pm 17 May 19

Put Zed last he has earned it.

Linda Matija Linda Matija 6:26 pm 17 May 19

What the public needs to realise is any cut to public services is a cut to the service they receive.

Susy Graeme Susy Graeme 3:01 pm 17 May 19

Oh yes because labor’s just so bloody good aren’t they. I wouldn’t trust you and your lying snakes as far as I could throw you and that wouldn’t be far.

    Julie Maynard Julie Maynard 9:20 am 18 May 19

    Susy Pocknee they all lie. I guess you vote for the lies you like the most!

Shayne Borger Shayne Borger 2:39 pm 17 May 19

Katie had her chance n failed

Paul Irving Paul Irving 2:26 pm 17 May 19

Zero is s zero, both as a politician and as a person. What a waste of DNA!

Hans Dimpel Hans Dimpel 2:20 pm 17 May 19

Zed is going to cost the Liberals money. They get paid per vote and people will vote against Zed so each vote lost is less money for the Liberals. I don't think thye can afford that.

Roger Mungummary Roger Mungummary 1:57 pm 17 May 19

There's a big difference between contract work to pad donors pockets and permanent funded jobs

Lyndon Zoukowski Lyndon Zoukowski 1:46 pm 17 May 19

We need a change

Josh Milthorpe Josh Milthorpe 1:34 pm 17 May 19

Zed's party cuts the public service every chance they get, and Zed has been totally impotent in his 'defence' of Canberra. It's time to chuck this no-hoper and replace him with someone who can argue strongly on behalf of the APS, someone who will actually defend Canberra.

    Raffy Sgroi Raffy Sgroi 2:54 pm 17 May 19

    Josh Milthorpe ALP already did!! Federal and local! New contracts are through agencies so you work for a government office but you don’t get the old system entitlements. Under both we will see a cut. 14,473 cuts to public service jobs prior to the 2012 election. Senator Kate Lundy and her fellow Labor members Gai Brodtmann and Andrew Leigh, lied to Canberrans about the jobs they were cutting. Fact!

    Janette Condon Janette Condon 6:30 pm 17 May 19

    Put Zed last. He deserves it.

    Nell Feneck Nell Feneck 7:34 am 18 May 19

    the public service was ineffective and needed to be cut - just like Katy needs to be cut

Veronika Sain Veronika Sain 1:21 pm 17 May 19

The announcement two days out from the election is obviously Canberra bashing in order to win those marginal seat votes they need.

Canberra is often used as a political scapegoat when in fact our city might look pretty but we don’t even have one decent hospital that can cope with demand. One car crash and our only trauma emergency ward goes into meltdown.

Grimm Grimm 12:38 pm 17 May 19

So he is a hypocrite for calling out the ALPs deception? They are cutting more out of the APS than the Libs will.

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