Posted on 15. Dec, 2011 in News

The Baillieu Government’s decision to cut thousands of public sector jobs will impact frontline services, Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews said today.

The 2011/12 Budget Update released today reveals 3600 public sector jobs will be cut.

“Mr Baillieu’s Christmas gift to Victorians is to cut back hardworking public sector workers who provide important services that people rely on,” Mr Andrews said.

“Any claims this won’t hit frontline services is just nonsense. For example, there are 2975 Victorian Public Service employees in the Department of Education alone.

“If you take away those who do the administration work, who does Mr Baillieu think will be forced to do the work?

“These cuts will put pressure on those working at the frontline, including teachers, nurses, child protection workers, and police.”

During a Budget Estimates hearing this year, Mr Baillieu said: “…this budget seeks to increase the number of public sector workers over the forward estimates by some 4000”.

“In just six months, Mr Baillieu has walked away from this commitment and instead taken the axe to 3600 public sector jobs.”

The Budget Update also reveals that Mr Baillieu has no plan to shore up Victoria’s faltering economy. He is expecting:

  • Economic growth to fall for 2011-12 from 3.0 per cent to 2.25 per cent, and will continue to decrease in 2012-13; and
  • More Victorians to be out of work in 2011-12 with the unemployment rate to increase from 5.0 per cent to 5.5 per cent.

Mr Baillieu has no plan but he is deceiving Victorians by:

  • Taking more money from motorists, with motor vehicle registration increasing by $35 per vehicle and the rate of stamp duty on new cars from 2.5 per cent to 3.0 per cent.
  • Giving Victorians less time to pay their stamp duty; and
  • Increasing  the dividend required from WorkCover, money that could be better spent protecting Victoria’s workers.

“These changes won’t just hurt Victorians’ hip pocket, but also cause irreparable damage to Victoria’s automotive industry, which is already facing a high Australian dollar,” Mr Andrews said.

“This crucial industry employs about 35,000 Victorians.

“Victoria is slipping backwards after a year of inaction by Mr Baillieu.

“The do-nothing Premier has no plan to boost the economy or grow jobs.

“Our economy is going backwards, and this will mean less jobs for Victorians.”

Last week the Australian Bureau of Statistics released data to show Victoria’s economy contracting as a result of a massive decline in Government infrastructure spending. It also showed Victoria’s unemployment rate increased to 5.5 per cent.

“This means since he came to office, Mr Baillieu has seen 21,500 more Victorians become unemployed,” Mr Andrews said.

“If Mr Baillieu thinks by slipping this announcement out just days from Christmas that Victorians won’t notice, he’s wrong.

“These cuts will impact services across the state and hurt Victorians.”


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