The Hon. Rob Lucas MLC

The Hon

Rob Lucas MLC

Treasurer

Media Releases

What happened when Government spent $360m trying to reduce public service numbers?

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

The total number of public servants has increased despite the Weatherill Government spending $360 million on targeted voluntary separation packages.

“Sadly for South Australian taxpayers this is another spectacular failure by Premier Weatherill and Treasurer Koutsantonis, and yet another example of their financial incompetence and mismanagement,” said Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas.

“The Auditor-General’s latest report shows that from 1 November 2010 to 30 June 2014 the Government spent $359.9 million on TVSPs trying to reduce the total number of public servants.

“The Auditor-General notes the actual cost is higher because the $359.9 million estimate doesn’t include ‘fees paid to Shared Services SA for administering the scheme, payroll tax, employee assistance and executive termination payments’.

“For example, Budget papers estimate total cost of ‘executive termination payments’ in a similar timeframe were $11.6 million.

“However, the latest report on public service numbers released by the Commissioner for Public Employment actually shows there was an increase of 471.6 FTE public servants between 30 June 2010 and 30 June 2014.

“So in summary the Weatherill Government spent at least $360 million on TVSPs and ended up increasing the number of public servants by 471.6!

“As the Government was shoveling millions of dollars into the pockets of public servants as they ‘shoved them out the front door’ even more public servants were being hired and ‘let in the back door’!

“The Auditor-General has reported that the average cost of each TVSP is more than $120,000 as public servants were offered up to two years’ salary to leave.

“It has also been revealed that the Government was giving payouts to public servants as old as 76 to leave their jobs.

“This is yet another example of the massive waste of taxpayers’ money at a time when Mr Weatherill is cutting pensioner concessions and closing the Repat Hospital and Emergency Department.”
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