Coalition confirms deeper public service cuts - 20,000 to go

The Coalition’s confirmation today that it plans to sack 20,000 public servants could pose a threat to national security, the Attorney-General and Minister for the Public Service and Integrity, Mark Dreyfus, has warned.

The Coalition’s confirmation today that it plans to sack 20,000 public servants could pose a threat to national security, the Attorney-General and Minister for the Public Service and Integrity, Mark Dreyfus, has warned.

“Despite Joe Hockey previously committing to cuts of 12,000 jobs and insisting he ‘never said we would [sic] cut 20,000’* public servants, the Shadow Treasurer today confirmed funding for those positions would go,” Mr Dreyfus said.

We’ve previously said that we can’t afford to have around 20,000 extra public servants in Canberra compared with the last year of the Coalition in Government. (Joe Hockey – 2UE, 29 April 2013)

Coalition MP Steve Ciobo supported the increased job cuts on television:

Take for example the fact that we’re going to allow through attrition there to be a reduction of 20,000 public servants in Canberra… (Ciobo – Sky News, 29 April 2013

“It’s a trademark conservative sleight of hand that shouldn’t be missed – just like Campbell Newman, just like Barry O’Farrell. They have ramped up their commitment from 12,000 job cuts to 20,000,” Mr Dreyfus said.

“Since the 2007 election more than half the increase in public servants came from jobs in ASIO, AFP and Defence. By their own words the Liberals clearly have these jobs in mind.

“That’s 10,000 military personnel and reservists, 1600 AFP employees and more than 600 ASIO employees to be cut by Tony Abbott.

“Mr Ciobo knows all about Campbell Newman's cuts to 14,000 Queensland workers. These cuts to services and jobs across Queensland are just the dress rehearsal for a Tony Abbott government.

“Cutting services to the bone could mean a reduced ability to protect the nation. Now is not the time to be taking risks by cutting our security services.”

Mr Dreyfus also condemned Queensland Liberal MP Steve Ciobo’s description of the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, as “like an alcoholic. Every single day she’ll come up with another set of excuses to justify poor behaviour and what’s taken place the previous day.”

“This is highly offensive language and has no place in civilised public debate in this country.

“Unless Steve Ciobo apologises we can only conclude that Mr Abbott and his party are happy to continue playing gutter politics.”

*Joe Hockey tweet (24 September 2013):
Joe Hockey‏@JoeHockey: @howespaul @SenatorWong I never said we wld cut 20,000. Here is the video to prove it. @abc730 transcript is wrong. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfbfqKJoLBc&feature=youtu.be …