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John Quiggin: LNP needs to slash public service to pay for Queensland election pledges

Joshua Robertson reports in The Guardian (8.11.17) on analysis by TJ Ryan Foundation Board member, John Quiggin, suggesting that Queensland’s public service would need to lose something like the 14,000 jobs cut by the Newman government to cover the LNP’s current campaign promises.

‘A reprise of the unheralded mass cuts to the Queensland public service of the Campbell Newman era is the only way the Liberal National party can pay for its 2017 election promises, according to a prominent economist.

‘John Quiggin, an Australian laureate fellow in economics at the University of Queensland, said “simple arithmetic” showed the LNP’s program of creating 500,000 jobs while cutting taxes, lifting spending and improving the budget balance “can’t be achieved all at once”.

‘“The promises made by the LNP can be delivered only through large, unannounced cuts in general government expenditure,” Quiggin said in a blog post on Tuesday.

‘This was “consistent with the strategy adopted by the Abbott government in 2013” and a year earlier by Newman, who campaigned for election on limiting public service wage growth to 3% but ended up sacking 14,000 workers.

‘Another analysis by the public sector union Together shows that the LNP would have to find savings of more than $2bn a year until 2020-21 to reach a budget surplus on its preferred “fiscal balance” measure. This is the equivalent of 22,000 public sector salaries of $110,000 a year, Together says.’

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