The Hon. Rob Lucas MLC

The Hon

Rob Lucas MLC

Treasurer

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Foley’s $4 billion blowout in unfunded super

Friday, 21 October 2005

South Australian taxpayers have been exposed to an increase of about $4 billion in the level of public servants’ unfunded superannuation liability since Kevin Foley became Treasurer, Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas said today.

The following chart shows that under the Liberal Government in 2001 the unfunded superannuation liability had been reduced to $3.2 billion. Under the Rann Government this figure has blown out to $7.1 billion.

Whilst the measures are obviously different, this $4 billion blowout is much bigger than the size of the actual $3 billion State Bank debt.

“Mr Foley has tried to do a Pontius Pilate on this by ‘washing his hands’ of any responsibility at all,” Mr Lucas said today.

“The reality is there has been a massive blowout of more than 5000 in the number of public servants under the Rann Government.

“In fact in the last two budgets alone there has been an unbudgeted increase of almost 2400 public servants – for example, last year’s budget shows the estimated number of public servants at 30 June 2005 would be 72,072. In fact, the number in this year’s budget was 73,842 which was an unbudgeted blowout of 1770.

“The Brett & Watson actuarial report tabled this week also highlighted that one of the factors in the blowout was the increased number of ‘workers retiring later at higher positions and salaries, meaning larger super payouts.’

“The fact that under the Rann Government the total number of public servants earning more than $100,000 has blown out from 782 to 1641 in just three years is obviously another factor in the increased superannuation liability.

“It is clear that Mr Foley has been asleep at the wheel for the last three years whilst there have been massive unbudgeted blowouts in public servant numbers and, in particular, those earning very high salaries.

“Mr Foley’s slack financial management is one of the factors in the increased unfunded superannuation liability.”
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