The money go-round

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - LIFESTYLE -

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).

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