The excellent Annabel Crabb has been tweeting from Penny Wong’s MYEFO press conference and brings the bad news that an extra efficiency dividend will be hitting the public service.
Here are the tweets:
- — Penny Wong has confirmed a one-off EXTRA efficiency dividend across the public service next year – 2.5 per cent.
— That is additional to the existing 1.5 per cent efficiency dividend. Ouch.
— She is advising agencies to cut back on hospitality, advertising and consultants. Also asking that they use teleconferencing more.
— Exemptions include federal jurisdiction courts and tribunals. And a list of cultural institutions.
— Incidentally, Govt will help agencies trim back by installing a new bureaucratic outfit – the Efficiency Improvement Branch
— Who will presumably never eat lunch or use consultants.
UPDATE: The Canberra Times has more on this.
ANOTHER UPDATE: The Liberals’ Senator Gary Humphries is furious:
It was only July last year when Labor announced its election policy to hold the efficiency dividend at 1.25 per cent, cancelling a scheduled reduction to 1 per cent. Then in April this year Labor broke that promise and increased it to 1.5 per cent. Now, just seven months later, Labor has increased next year’s efficiency dividend to 4 per cent, the highest it has ever been.
“To keep these policies in your back pocket before the election and announce them afterwards is gutless, pure and simple,” Senator Humphries said today.
“This is yet another broken promise from Labor.
“Andrew Leigh, Gai Brodtmann and Kate Lundy should be ashamed for misleading Canberrans before the last election.
One more update for the road: Senator Lundy has launched a defence of the Government’s actions while stepping in to bat for some threatened agencies:
Smaller agencies have been exempted from the one-off efficiency dividend (appendix A), including our national cultural institutions, and the Government’s strong expectation is that agencies will continue to meet the efficiency dividend without resorting to forced redundancies.
Federal Labor representatives for the ACT, Senator the Hon Kate Lundy, Gai Brodtmann and Dr Andrew Leigh, welcomed the announcement to exempt smaller agencies and protect jobs, but expressed their concern the Australian National Botanic Gardens (ANBG), the National Portrait Gallery (NPG), and the National Capital Authority (NCA) had not been included among the list of agencies exempt from the temporary efficiency dividend.
We will be making strong representations to the Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government Simon Crean and the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities Tony Burke to ensure these important national cultural institutions are protected, in line with the Government’s policy to apply the efficiency divided at the portfolio level.