The Baillieu government, Victoria, has unleashed the biggest program of public sector job shedding and cost-cutting since the Kennett era in a desperate scramble to keep the state budget in surplus.
Delivering Victoria's most austere budget since the 1990s, state Treasurer Kim Wells outlined plans to sack thousands of public servants and rake in hundreds of millions of dollars of extra cash.
Kim Wells says Victorians understand the Government has delivered a tough budget the state had to have, despite more public sector job cuts.
Another 600 public servants will lose their jobs on top of the 3600 already announced in December, to keep the state in the black amid plummeting revenues.
Mr Wells said all the public sector job cuts would occur over a two year period from July 1 and said he was confident they would be achieved through voluntary redundancies.
Premier Ted Baillieu said the 4200 jobs to be slashed over two years from a 36,000-strong public service would bring public service numbers back to 2006-07-08 levels, saving $1 billion over four years.
Mr Baillieu said the budget would retain Victoria's AAA credit rating, keep taxes competitive, reduce Workcover premiums and set things up for a near record investment in infrastructure next year.
Mr Wells said it was a case of the Government "living within its means" and funnelling the limited funds to those most in need.
LISA Comment: The first question the people of Victoria, especially people with a disability and their families should ask is, “What are/were the 4200 public servants doing, which is now seen as unnecessary?”
Secondly, “How is the Baillieu government going to ensure the public service is providing meaningful customer service, rather than the traditional service avoidance, issue avoidance and manoeuvre every which way that people with a disability have suffered since time immemorial?”
Clearly, no one cared about the bureaucratic waste until there were financial reasons to keep the state in the black. Rather than ‘monitor and run an efficient public service’ to ensure public money is not used to fund the bureaucratic service avoidance which people with a disability, their families and non government services, CSOs, have to fight continuously to achieve just basic services.
Whilst non government services are well underfunded and struggling, government direct services are living high on the hog. They don’t properly business manage their way, they buy and blunder their way along with reactive management and staff lore!
CSO members of NDS report a rise in problems and frustrations relating to departmental processes of constraints, functionality and administration of the service system - Bureaucratic build-up and bungling, funded at the expense of front-line services for people with a disability and their families.
We should all be concerned with the potential of the state public service to build self-serving bureaucratic empires with NDIS funding, in their quest to be a launching pad for NDIS.