Cormann on public service cuts: work harder but keep your staff

Federal Finance Minister Mathias Cormann somewhat calmed fears of more Australian Public Service cuts and layoffs in a speech to the Sydney Institute this week. But while the staff may not be disappearing, the pressure for greater efficiency in outcomes continues, with Cormann flagging further cuts to government program spending to just 24% of GDP — the average level under the Howard government.

Cormann told the audience the Commonwealth’s push for “better targeted, more efficient and more effective” public service delivery would continue:

“There is no easy way to repair the Budget, as suggested by some, just by slashing the public service.

“The public service wage bill represents less than 5% of federal government expenditure. Most of our federal government expenditure goes into programs — the age pension, the disability pension, the NDIS, unemployment benefits, medical benefits, pharmaceutical benefits, payments to the States and Territories to support their schools and hospitals, our border security, our defence forces and more.

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