Liberal Promise on Job Cuts Abandoned?
It couldn’t have been clearer. During the election held just a few short weeks ago the Tasmanian Liberals promised they would only cut public sector jobs by 500 FTE over 2 years and that this would not impact on services. Now we are told that in addition to the 500 jobs to be cut to pay for election promises ‘the current Forward Estimates imply that further savings, equivalent to in excess of 1000 FTEs, need to be achieved by agencies’ [Report to the Treasurer: Analysis of Budget Risks April 2014]. Yes – that’s right, suddenly 500 jobs losses has turned into 1,500 jobs to go.
In an email sent to every public sector worker during the election Treasurer Peter Gutwein described claims by Labor that the Liberals planned to cut 1,200 jobs if elected as ‘just another Labor / union scare’. It now seems the 1,200 figure was an underestimate and the real truth is much scarier.
Many service delivery areas are already in the brink of failing because of the cuts made over the past 3 years. Cutting another 1,500 jobs will decimate services and leave many in our community unsupported. To put this level of cut into perspective it is the equivalent of the whole of the Department of Primary Industry, Water and Environment – the third largest Department behind health and education or all of the Departments of Police, Premier & Cabinet and Treasury combined.
Australians are tired of being told one thing before an election only to see exactly the opposite done after it. Tony Abbott promised no new taxes, no cuts to health, education or the ABC but it seems fairly clear already that when the Federal budget is released in the next few weeks it will include new taxes and cuts to health, education and the ABC. The message we want to get across to the state government ahead of the August budget is that we will hold you accountable for the promises you made.