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Chamber’s Budget Submission Just More of the Same
THE Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TCCI) has continued its attack on Tasmanian State Sector workers in its latest budget submission. Despite budgets being slashed across the Service in recent years and more than 1000 workers losing their jobs the Chamber wants the government to cut further.
The new ‘frontline’ for the TCCI attack is areas such as RBF and Workcover Tasmania – areas the Chamber claim should have savings strategies extended as they are ‘not subject to the same constraints as State Service agencies’.
The Chamber recommends the government commission an external review into Workcover with the primary objective of reducing costs. They note there are considerable overlaps between the responsibilities of Workcover and Workplace Standards but don’t suggest additional funding for Workplace Standards but instead an overall reduction in the contributions made by business towards Health and Safety management.
At RBF the TCCI is suggesting the ultimate cuts. They recommend the government seek to sell off RBF or, if this is not feasible, to merge it with another fund. They suggest the government should consider amending the design of the defined benefit scheme in order to reduce the overall liability of the scheme. This is code for reducing the entitlements members of the defined benefit scheme would receive at retirement – entitlements they have been making personal contributions towards for the whole of their careers.
Why would anyone listen to the TCCI? In recent years they have driven their own business to the brink of bankruptcy and have been a strong advocate for the government’s disastrous policy of rapid fiscal consolidation that has seen unemployment skyrocket and almost pushed our economy into recession. They are ideologically opposed to public services claiming a ‘large public sector crowds out wealth generating private sector activity’ and strongly believe government should only be providing services in areas the private sector can’t provide at a profit. It will be interesting to see if our Labor/Green government holds the chamber in the same low regard as the rest of the community.
Submission attached below