$3.3 billion in public sector cuts
Deb Frecklington and the LNP will need to make an additional $3.3 billion in cuts to the public service beyond what they have already covered in their costings if they are elected.
Yesterday the LNP released their costings document. It promises to fund their election spending commitments through cuts achieved by 'natural attrition' (ie. not filling vacancies caused by retirement or resignation) and by cutting spending on travel and consultants. They also promise 'no forced redundancies.'
However, the LNP costings document does not cover three things:
- They have not costed a return to budget surplus under a 'fiscal balance' principle. Their costings bring them $299 million closer to surplus, but they need to find an additional $1.586 billion in cuts to reach their target of 'fiscal balance' surplus in 2023-34.
- Their proposed savings from 'natural attrition' are far too high. A more realistic assessment of natural attrition data suggests that they can save at most $458 million, when their proposed natural attrition savings are $1.6 billion. Their savings figure is $1.142 billion too high.
- The LNP's signature election promise, the 'New Bradfield' scheme, is not costed in their document aside from planning expenses. The New Bradfield scheme would take an estimated $15 billion to build. Even assuming the federal government pays the bulk of the cost, the LNP in government in Queensland would need to find $300 million annually for the final two years of the forward estimates – meaning $600 million more they have to find without raising taxes or borrowing.
The combined total of these measures means a Frecklington LNP government would need to make $3,327,620,000 worth of cuts to the public sector to fund their promises.
The LNP's costings in 2020 can be compared to Campbell Newman's costings in 2012. Before he was elected, Campbell Newman promised 'no forced redundancies' and that they would make savings through natural attrition and cutting consultants and travel. These are all things the LNP has promised again in 2020. Within months of releasing their costings in 2012, Campbell Newman and the LNP cut 14,000 jobs.
Cutting jobs during a global pandemic and recession would be an economic disaster. It would increase unemployment, keep Queenslanders in recession for longer, and devastate public services across the state.
If you have not already voted this election, I urge you to vote against cuts to jobs and services. Put the LNP last.
PS. If you have received your postal ballot, remember to return your ballot papers ASAP.