The money go-round
UNDOING the sort of budget repair that cost Campbell Newman his job, Premier Anna Palaszczuk has added 8000 public service jobs, rounding up the state total to 249,000. As a public servant you’d be dumb not to vote Labor; for the government it’s a great way to build a reliable constituency for the next election.
But there is the matter of the unsustainable $80 billion debt that the state is currently servicing, with wicked amounts going in interest and a slug to the state’s credit rating which makes borrowing expensive.
But the government has a plan for that too – by raiding the state’s own superannuation fund, not by the $2 billion that the Treasury experts suggest might be the most prudent amount if this must go ahead, but by $4 billion.
Among other things in their money go round the government is merging Ergon and Energex and expecting to pocket a large amount of money as a result. Jobs will go, however, so their plan to fix that little problem is to set up a state-run business providing electrical services – in other words, competition for private electrical contractors!
The sparkies are pretty mad, as you would be. It’s a hard enough industry at any time given the periodic slow downs in construction work. But they’re in the public sector, so what the hell.
Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show that in the year to June, NSW and Victoria added a total of 216,000 but Queensland added just 6000. Guess who they were.
The message is, be a public servant. It’s the one constant growth sector.
Another reason for that is that governments of all stripes use the the public service to mop up embarrassing outbreaks of unemployment.
In effect it’s just swapping the dole for taxpayer funded state jobs that are much more expensive (though they do become taxpayers, technically).