Shadow Treasurer, Curtis Pitt, says the Newman Government needs to give a firm and final answer on how many of its own workers it plans to sack to fund its election promises.
“After almost three months in office it is time the Premier was upfront and told his own employees how many of them will soon be on the jobless queue,” Mr Pitt said.
“The politically tainted Costello audit identified job cuts as the major source of the $5.7 billion in savings needed to fund the LNP’s election commitments.
“This is despite both Premier Newman and Treasurer Tim Nicholls swearing before the election that they had identified the necessary savings.
“Little did government workers know that they would be sacrificing their own jobs to fund the LNP’s promises.”
Mr Pitt said the Premier and his Ministers had been unable or unwilling to answer simple questions about how many people in their departments faced the sack as part of the LNP’s jobs purge.
“In Parliament the Premier suggested 20,000 jobs would go; he has previously mentioned 41,000 temporary and contract workers; and in his answer to a question on notice he refers to 55,000 temporary and casual employees,” he said.
“The largest numbers of temporary workers are employed by the Health Department and Education Department, such as frontline teachers and nurses. So if they go their loss will affect frontline services.
“Just how many people does he intend to put out of work and how many are in frontline jobs or in jobs that support frontline workers and services?
“Today we have again seen Ministers unable to answer such simple questions in relation to vital frontline positions such as child safety officers and nurses.”
Mr Pitt said government workers were also misled before the election by not being told of the LNP’s three-year freeze on pay increments.
“In addition, the government’s pay rise offer of just 2.2% is in effect a wages cut in real terms
“They are both more broken promises from a Premier who said the public service had nothing to fear from an LNP government,” he said. “It turns out they have everything to fear.”
Mr Pitt said Mr Newman risked freezing the state economy with his jobs purge and constant efforts to talk down Queensland’s performance.
“If more than 200,000 government employees are living under a cloud of uncertainty they will not be making spending decisions,” he said.
“They will not be taking out a house mortgage, or a loan for renovations. They will be rethinking major purchases such as a new or second car and family holidays. The ripple effects of Mr Newman’s broken promises could be felt throughout our economy.”