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Tas Public Sector cuts numbers expected later today

THE State Government’s Revised Estimates Report is due this afternoon, and it should shed some light on the impact of budget cuts, and give an update on the number of people who’ve left the state service.

The Government announced its agenda to axe more than 1200 jobs in August last year. Since then the government has done everything possible to keep information about the cuts secret – avoiding questions during the budget estimates process and refusing to answer questions raised by the media.

What the Treasurer needs to show Tasmanians is that his austerity plan is working. It shouldn’t be forgotten that before last year’s budget the economy was already beginning to recover so unless it has improved markedly all his plan has done is cut jobs and services. We know retail sales figures are down and long term unemployment is up and most Tasmanians feel any recover is stalling as confidence and job security are undermined by austerity.

We need one thing in particular from the Treasurer this afternoon: truth. Mr Gutwein needs to be upfront with Tasmanians. We need transparency on the number of workers who’ve accepted redundancies and WRIPS, and we also need clarity on how much these have cost. So far honesty hasn’t been this government’s strong point but we hope this afternoon the Treasurer is frank with both the people he employs and serves and is clear about what his cuts are costing the community.

The Treasurer has this information and more. “They’ve got figures on the number of full-time equivalents they’ve cut, they’ve got figures on the number of positions that’ve been abolished, they’ve got figures on the number of redundancies that’ve been delivered,” CPSU General Secretary told the ABC on Friday. So it’s just a matter of whether Mr Gutwein wants to share the facts with Tasmanians.

Ultimately these cuts mean Tasmanians can expect an impact on services. It’s going to be harder to access services. It’s going to mean longer wait times and queues. Cuts mean paring down and stripping back. People will fall through the cracks. Children and young people will suffer through education cuts, and many will experience hardships with the sizing down of the health service. Our Parks will degrade due to a lack of staff. Our libraries will offer less and less to communities. Our biosecurity will encounter risks because of cutbacks.


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