Queensland budget: no ‘raid’ on public servant entitlements

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The Queensland public service is set to grow by about 3000 full-time equivalents this financial year and despite scary reports, long service leave and defined benefit super are both safe. The treasurer claims he’ll return to surplus, with no redundancies required.

Despite the best efforts of Queensland treasurer Curtis Pitt to hose down hysterical predictions in his budget delivery speech yesterday afternoon, subsequent media reports had him “raiding public servant long-service leave” and putting defined benefit superannuation in jeopardy within the hour.

Pitt explained his decisions were based on solid advice from financial experts both inside and outside government. Everyone’s super is safe and so are the well-earned breaks being planned by career bureaucrats, according to the treasurer.

“Long service leave entitlements are guaranteed by legislation, and will be paid when claimed,” the treasurer confirmed, in case anyone believed the pre-budget scaremongering. On superannuation, he said: “No money is taken out. Nothing is being raided.”

What the rearrangement of the government’s finances to pay down its debts does involve, however, is switching the funding arrangements for long service leave to “as required” instead of holding the funds in advance, bringing the sunshine state into line with all other Australian governments.

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