Ruling out cuts to services to fund election promises
After the last election we discovered that the Hodgman government intended to pay for additional positions they promised in the election by cutting other jobs. At the Unions Tasmania ‘Jobs You Can Count On’ forum held in Hobart on 19 February a question was asked from the floor about whether the next government would cut jobs in other areas of the public sector to fund the many new positions promised in health and education.
Both the Labor and Greens leaders had the opportunity at the forum to rule out cutting jobs in other parts of the public sector in order to fund their election promises and they did so very strongly.
However, Premier Will Hodgman was a notable absence at the forum and didn’t have the opportunity to answer this question. Last week we wrote to Will Hodgman asking:
Would you rule out cutting jobs in other parts of the public sector in order to fund the promises you have made to increase staffing in health, education and police?
In response he said: given the budget is back in balance, the public sector is at level that is sustainable and affordable and we aim to keep it that way. My comments remain: barring any major unanticipated shocks out of our control, a re-elected Liberal Government do not see any need to reduce the size of the public service into the foreseeable future.
We know that the public service is not adequately funded or resourced. Our Parks & Wildlife Service, Child Safety Service and Biosecurity are all examples of services that that need more funding and staff to meet demand.