Posts Tagged ‘Budget’

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I am old enough to remember the good old days the Budget was a relatively straight forward thing – increases in the prices of cigarettes, postage stamps etc. These days the guaranteed fixture is maintenance of and sometimes increase in public service funding cuts, particularly that of the public service efficiency dividend. But what is the efficiency dividend and what does it mean? (more…)

So now we have The Mad Monk’s (aka Tony Abbott) reply to the Budget. High on his list is a cut to the public service. Specifically, he states that they will not be sacking people, but instead losing 6,000 people per year by natural attrition through a recruitment freeze.

Now hold on there a moment, Jug Ears. We have heard something like this before. Back in 1996, on the day of the election, the Liberals ran full-page ads in The Canberra Times which set out a number of ‘promises’ it was making to members of the Australian Public Service. This included a very precisely worded assurance that staff numbers would be cut via natural attrition over the next two years. Yet almost as soon as Johnny ‘Eyebrows’ Howard assumed office, across the board retrenchment of thousands of public servants commenced. Tens of thousands of jobs were lost. So much for the reassurances of the use of ‘natural attrition’. And now The Mad Monk expects us to believe the same nonsense all over again.

What made that 1996-onwards position even worse, was then-Treasurer, Peter Costello, coming out afterward and saving that the loss of all of these jobs in Canberra and the heartache and difficulty it caused to many thousands of families across Australia, was a good thing. I would hate to see what he called a bad thing.

Adding to the hypocrisy of the new Liberal position is that, just as widely predicted, we see the essential elements of Work Choices rearing their ugly heads again. So much for those assurances that Work Choices was gone.

For some reason, the Liberals are seemingly incapable of coming up with a single original idea these days but just constant recycling of John Howard’s crap.