The ACT Greens Media release this morning has them claiming the fiscal conservative tag from the two majors with a pretty significant $160 million difference in recurrent commitments from the next closest party.
Are they completely delusional in what it costs to run government? or are the measures suggested in the media release sufficient to significantly reduce the costs of governance of the ACT. Certainly the difference between the $158m announced by the Greens and the $441m in recurrent spend proposed by Labor makes for a pretty significant dent in current debts or dare i say it, rates and stamp duties.
Media Release below :
The ACT Greens have now finalised their total spending envelope for the 2012 election, reinforcing their commitment to returning the budget to surplus by 2015-16.
“The Greens commitment to sustainability applies to economics too, and we’ve outlined, and submitted to Treasury, a fiscally responsible plan,” said ACT Greens Leader, Meredith Hunter.
“Costings matter, and we’ve put the numbers out there for the Canberra community to see. While one party has played games and blatantly hidden their costings and plans, the Greens have subjected ourselves to the scrutiny that we believe all election promises should undergo.
“I’m calling on the other parties to announce any savings they have planned and submit those proposals to the Treasury process.
As of October 11th, the announcements* by the three major parties came to:
Recurrent commitments over 4 years
ALP (announced so far) – $449 million
Canberra Liberals (announced so far) -$319 million
ACT Greens (total commitments) – $158 million
*Correct at time of publication
The Greens have identified five ways that the ACT Government can make savings in operations, and called on the other parties to come clean with their savings initiatives.
“We’re looking to reign in ballooning insurance premiums, increase competition for Government tenders and reduce consultant costs.
“The bulk of savings in our plan comes from improving competition in Government procurement, and the Greens plan will simply bring the ACT into line with the Commonwealth.
“The Greens are open and transparent about our savings. These are all of the savings that we are planning, and they do not cut one job from the public service.
“The other parties election promises, particularly the Canberra Liberals, have not included any indication of how they fit into a fiscal plan to return to surplus.
“Given the massive job cuts we’ve seen by other Liberal State Governments, I’m calling on Zed Seselja’s Liberals in particular to come clean with any savings they intend to make.
The Greens five efficiency initiatives are:
· Insurance premiums for workers compensation grew by almost 30% over the last few years in the ACTPS. The Greens would focus on reducing workplace injuries to reign in the ballooning costs.
· Tender the Greenhouse Gas Inventory to private sector. Currently the ICRC undertakes the task at substantially greater cost than is offered by private firms.
· Increase competition for Government procurement by reducing tender limit from $200k to $80k – in line with Commonwealth.
· Reduce shared services use of consultants
· Make better use of internal audit processes to drive cost savings though redesign of inefficient processes
“These savings are modest and do not come at the expense of jobs. The Greens believe that we should always be trying to identify efficiencies and get the best possible value for public funds,” Ms Hunter said.