Coalition to cut a public service job every hour

Federal Labor representatives in the ACT say Coalition policy costings provided this week would send a chill up the spine of Canberra public servants.

The Parliamentary Budget Office Post-election Report confirms details of the Abbott Government's plans affecting the Australian Public Service (APS).

The APS will be reduced by 6,000 staff in the nine months to June 2014. That's one public service job lost every single hour until the end of the financial year. A further 6,000 jobs will go in the two years after that.

Four agencies are exempt from the cuts – Australian Customs, Australian Federal Police, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and Australian Secret Intelligence Service. Only serving military and reservists are exempt in Defence.

“This confirms that thousands of public servants in the Defence Department in Canberra face uncertainty,” said Gai Brodtmann.  

“We now know where the cuts won't come from, but we don't know yet where they will come from, how they will be delivered and what impact they will have on frontline services” she added.

Andrew Leigh said, “It's hard to believe the speed and severity of the cuts won't erode public services.”

“We have already heard how Centrelink call centres, hit by staff cuts, are struggling to meet customer needs. This disproportionately affects low-income Australians needing tailored support.”

The PBO notes that its findings are of “low or medium reliability” because of the data available to it.

“The savings are difficult to forecast because it relies on who leaves the APS and when,” added Dr Leigh.

“We can only assume that these cuts are not motivated by wanting to trim waste, but by Prime Minister Abbott’s disdain for Canberra and ideological opposition to the public service,” said Senator Kate Lundy.

“Since Prime Minister’s Abbott’s election, I’ve been calling on him to come clean with the detail of his planned public service cuts,” Senator Lundy said.

“The Abbott Government seems to be operating under a cloak of secrecy. Canberrans deserve to know how these 12,000 job cuts are going to be delivered, and what further cuts the Abbott Government has in mind.” 

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