Slash public service and make us all happy | Daily Telegraph Piers Akerman Blog
Other areas of government spending — stuff the taxpayer picks up the
bill for — will be cut and there will be all the usual squeals from the
public sector unions.
As they are highly unionised and their unions throw money at the Labor
Party, it is safe to suggest that the members largely vote Labor. Why
wouldn’t they vote for the party which not only supports their jobs and
their pay rises, but is also guaranteed to expand their organisations?
The cries from Canberra are already ringing out across the Monaro, but
if the UK experience is anything to go by, cutting the public service
can be of great benefit to the nation.
Faced with far greater debts than Australia (the business-as-usual
projections in the Audit Commission report had the net debt rising to 17
per cent of GDP, in the UK its 80 per cent), the British
have ruled out any cuts to pensioner benefits, and no one has suggested a
co-payment for the NHS, which means their cuts have had to fall on a
far narrower base and also be deeper.
The important lesson that we should have learnt from the UK is that
paring back spending and cutting into the public sector has not had the
severe macro-economic consequences that the some predicted, and which
Canberrans claimed would occur.
In the UK, growth has picked up quite strongly, and private-sector
employment has grown, more than offsetting the fall in public-sector
As we know to our cost, the federal government is not equipped to do a
lot of things. Not only does it have an education department but no
schools and health department but no hospitals, its bureaucrats failed
entirely when they were asked to take on tasks better left to the
If the lethal home insulation scheme is not a constant reminder of
bureaucratic incompetence, the Green-tinged department of climate
change, or the inadequate buildings constructed for the education
revolution should be.