Small government obsession leads to ‘false economies’: Miriam Lyons

As the federal budget lands, the authors of a new book argue the public service cuts and outsourcing of the past two decades will have long-term economic consequences for Australians.

Cutting public services often leads to false economies, costing more in the long-term and undermining the basis of a successful capitalist system, argue the authors of a new book.

GovernomicsAustralia’s obsession with shrinking government has significant economic consequences, contend Miriam Lyons and Ian McAuley in Governomics: Can We Afford Small Government?

As the federal government prepares to release a budget that will bring cuts in many areas, Lyons told The Mandarin the centre of international thinking, in institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, was moving towards the contention that simply cutting services was often counterproductive.

There is plenty of evidence, argues Lyons, that “where governments are trying to get their budgets under control, they should tax the rich more, not spend less on the poor.”

FREE membership to The Mandarin

Receive unlimited access, get all the latest public sector news and features, plus The Juice, our daily news update sent direct to your inbox.

The Mandarin is where Australia's public sector leaders discuss their work and the issues faced within modern bureaucracy. Join today to discover the latest in public administration thinking and news from our dedicated reporters, current and former agency heads and senior executives.