The Hon. Rob Lucas MLC

The Hon

Rob Lucas MLC

Treasurer

Media Releases Archives


Liberals release key costings details

Tuesday, 21 February 2006

A Liberal Government would cut Labor waste to fund high priority areas including tax relief and concessions, mental health, disability services, education, police and roads.

Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas said up to $300 million a year could be saved to pay for significant new funding commitments in these high priority areas.

“Liberal promises during this campaign will be fully costed and funded and, unlike Labor during the last campaign, the key details have not been hidden until 36 hours before the election,” Mr Lucas said.

“This Labor Government is collecting $2300 million more revenue this year when compared to 2001-02 (the former Liberal Government’s final budget) but no one can see a $2300 million improvement in schools, roads, hospitals or police services.

“A Liberal Government will cut Labor’s waste and change Labor’s wrong priorities. The general principles of the waste reduction program will be:
• cut two Labor Ministers, white cars and other costs
• cut 76 Labor spin doctors and other Ministerial staff
• cut 4,000 public servants out of Labor’s increase of 8000-9000
- no forced redundancies
- no cuts in police, teachers, nurses, doctors and other high priority areas
• cut Thinkers in Residence program
• cut Government advertising, consultants, contractors
• stop the $51 million tramline extension
• a 1% efficiency dividend on non-salary operating expenses
• stop blowouts in Labor’s capital works – e.g. $257m blowout in cost of The Queen Elizabeth Hospital redevelopment

“The specific details of these measures and a small number of others will be outlined later in the campaign when the costings document is released.

“When the full programme has been implemented, total savings of about $300 million per year will be generated.”

The reduction in public service numbers would be achieved through attrition, non-renewal of contracts and the use of TVSPs (Targeted Voluntary Separation Packages).

“Past experience in the public sector, and also in the private sector such as the car industry, indicates there will be more than enough people wanting to take up the option of a TVSP,” Mr Lucas said.

“State Budget papers show that in the 2002, 2003 and 2004 budgets, Labor budgeted for total increases of 666 public servants. However, the actual increase was 6909 public servants or an unbudgeted increase of 6243 public servants in just three budgets.

“Labor claims that most of the increases have been in police, teacher, nurse and doctor numbers are demonstrably wrong. In fact, these occupations add up to less than 1000 of the 8000-9000 (FTE or full-time equivalent) increase. (See attached)

“A generous analysis of Auditor-General Reports, Government press releases and documents obtained under Freedom of Information (FOI) shows there might have been an increase of just more than 1000 (FTE) doctors, nurses and police but a Department of Education and Children’s Services document obtained under FOI confirms there will be 560 fewer teachers in 2006 when compared to 2001.

“It should be noted that in each of the Labor Government’s budgets, revenue has been consistently underestimated by an average of $640 million per annum.

“In addition, the Treasurer maintains contingency provisions to allow for urgent and unexpected expenditure requirements over the budget forward estimates. However, the Government has not revealed the extent of these contingency provisions.

“It is clear that the Labor Government has had so much extra revenue flowing in from the GST and property taxes that it has just given up all pretence of proper financial management.

“Liberal priorities such as $80 million extra over four years in concessions to older South Australians and $40 million over four years for critical disability services and other priorities to be announced over the coming days will be funded by this program of cutting Labor’s waste.”


DOCTORS, NURSES, TEACHERS AND POLICE

1. NURSES
(a) ‘The Rann Government has now recruited 1349 additional nurses in the last three financial years, or 874 in full-time equivalent terms.’
Kevin Foley, media release, 27 October 2005

(b) 615 (FTE) extra nurses June 02-June 05
828 (FTE) extra nurses June 01-June 05
Auditor-General’s Reports 2004, 2005

(c) 615 (FTE) extra nurses June 02-June 05
Lee Thomas, Australian Nursing Federation, 27 October 2005

2. DOCTORS
(a) ‘The Rann Government has also recruited 349 more doctors – or 144.9 full-time equivalent – in the three years to 30 June 2005’
Kevin Foley, media release, 27 October 2005

(b) 147 (FTE) extra doctors June 02-June 05
199 (FTE) extra doctors June 01-June 05
Auditor-General’s Reports 2004, 2005

3. POLICE
(a) 246 extra police April 02-December 05
Rann/Foley media release, 15 February 2006

4. TEACHERS
560 fewer teachers September 01-June 06 (est.)
Department of Education and Children’s Services document (FOI)
Department of Education, Training and Employment Annual Report 2001


8,305 Increase in Public Sector Employment numbers (Full-Time Equivalents)


Increase June 2001 to June 2005: 7,836
Source: Office for the Commissioner for Public Employment – Workforce Information Collection reports

Increase June 2005 to June 2006 (estimate): 469
Source: State Budget 2005/06 paper 3

Total: 8,305


Note:

1. Based on the experience of the last three years, the actual increase by June 2006 will be significantly higher than the budgeted increase of 469. Therefore, the total actual increase by June 2006 is likely to be significantly higher than 8305

2. Office of Public Employment reports indicate there were 76,720 (FTE) public servants as at June 2005

3. The June 2001 figures actually include approximately 500 FTEs in the South Australian Ports Corporation and the TAB, both of which are no longer in the public sector. An apples v apples comparison would increase the figure of 8305 by approximately 500.

CONTACT
ROB LUCAS MLC

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GPO Box 2264
ADELAIDE SA 5000

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