Federal Budget a ‘mixed bag’ for APS

By Angela Dorizas

The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) said the 2010/11 Budget is a “mixed bag” for Australian public servants.

CPSU national secretary, Nadine Flood, said the sector welcomed funding for Defence and the Australian Bureau of Statistics, but was concerned at the scale of cuts in Customs, Centrelink and the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

“The Centrelink cut highlights the deficiencies in that agency’s funding model and has the potential to result in longer queues and increased waiting times,” Ms Flood said.

“We will working closely with affected agencies to ensure skilled staff are not lost to the service as a result of these changes.”

The CPSU welcomed the allocation of $38.7 million to the Australian Public Service Commission to action recommendations of the Moran Review. Ms Flood said the reforms included positive measures to address public sector skills shortages, along with investment in training and development.

“CPSU members are generally pleased that the government has now adopted all the recommendations of the Moran review, including a critique of the efficiency dividend, the ongoing annual 1.25 per cent cut to all departmental budgets,” Ms Flood said.

“The great pity is that the Government didn't abolish it last night and replace it with smarter ways to make savings.

"Public sector workers understand how tight the fiscal situation is but the efficiency dividend is a lazy and harmful tax on APS jobs and services.”

Ms Flood said with the Australian population growing at around 1.7 per cent per year, the public service would need to match that growth in order to provide appropriate services.

For full details on estimated staffing levels of Australian Government agencies refer to Budget Paper 1, Statement 6, Table C.5.

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