Pub­lic ser­vants pick up $279m

The Sunday Times - - NEWS - PETER LAW

PUB­LIC ser­vants have walked away with hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars in re­dun­dancy pay­outs in the past year as a re­sult of WA Trea­surer Ben Wy­att’s cost-cutting drive.

The axe has been swung in al­most every State Govern­ment depart­ment since Mr Wy­att an­nounced in Septem­ber last year that he wanted 3000 “vol­un­tary sep­a­ra­tions” at a cost of $300 mil­lion.

The Health Depart­ment paid out the high­est amount of any agency — $43 mil­lion to 301 ex­it­ing staff — as part of the Vol­un­tary Tar­geted Sepa­ra­tion Scheme (VTSS).

This was fol­lowed by Com­mu­ni­ties ($41 mil­lion), Ed­u­ca­tion ($28 mil­lion), Jus­tice ($26 mil­lion) and Pri­mary In­dus­tries ($17 mil­lion), as well as WA Po­lice ($10 mil­lion) and the Depart­ment of Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vices ($4.7 mil­lion).

As of July 1, 2311 sep­a­ra­tions had cost WA tax­pay­ers $279 mil­lion.

Mr Wy­att pre­vi­ously said the re­duc­tion in pub­lic-sec­tor jobs would save tax­pay­ers $1 bil­lion over four years.

An anal­y­sis of an­nual re­ports tabled in par­lia­ment in re­cent weeks show at least $156 mil­lion in “ter­mi­na­tion ben­e­fits” were paid in 2017-18.

A spokesman for the Trea­surer said the ben­e­fit pay­ments may in­clude costs out­side of the VTSS. The re­ports show nu­mer­ous cases of more ob­scure govern­ment au­thor­i­ties mak­ing size­able pay­outs.

Th­ese in­clude the Rot­tnest Is­land Author­ity ($725,000), Lot­tery­west ($2.2 mil­lion), Botanic Parks and Gar­dens ($610,668), In­for­ma­tion Com­mis­sioner ($80,558), State Li­brary of WA ($819,000), VenuesWest ($757,000), WA Mu­seum ($108,000), Gold Cor­po­ra­tion ($305,914), State Emer­gency Man­age­ment Com­mit­tee ($236,000) and the Com­mis­sioner for Chil­dren and Young Peo­ple ($247,097).

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