ScoMo takes axe to public service

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TODAY’s move has blindsided Public Service Chiefs, who complained they had been given no warning of the Christmas purge.

IT is alleged to be in the guise of reducing ‘Red Tape’ and cost saving …

Herein outlined including the corruption of Treasury, and the consequences of dodgy …

-Budget Forecasts,

-modelling around Company Tax Cuts

-and propaganda round mass immigration

SOME COMMENTS we have read on social media include these …

-the biggest issue is that there are now 5 ministers whose departments have been abolished … still being paid as ministers … still on the ministerial gravy train … BUT WITHOUT a department.

-Morrison fiddles while Australia’s economy burns

ScoMo takes axe to public service

By Unconventional Economist in Australian budget

December 5, 2019 | 23 comments

The Morrison Government is reportedly poised to slash Australia’s public service in a bid to reduce ‘red tape’ and save on costs:

Scott Morrison is poised to put an axe through the public service today with plans to dramatically cut the number of government departments with another round of mandarins set for the chopping block.

The Australian, which flagged the changes in July, understands that several more super-departments will be created in a move to dramatically cut bureaucratic red tape.

Senior government sources said it was expected to be the biggest realignment and reform of the public service since Bob Hawke cut the number of departments from 28 to 18 in his reforms to the machinery of government in 1987…

Mr Morrison, on becoming prime minister, appointed himself as minister for the public service in a signal that he was planning sweeping changes to the “mandarin” club in Canberra…

“We don’t expect the public service to run the government. That’s what we were elected to do,” Mr Morrison said.

I’m no fan of the bloated public service, but this does have me worried.

As we know, the Coalition has already recently stacked the public service with Liberal Party “yes men”, including:

  • appointment of former chief of staff to both Treasurers Peter Costello and Scott Morrison, Philip Gaetjens, to the secretary of the Australian Treasury and then the Secretary of Prime Minister and Cabinet;
  • appointment of former chief of staff to Finance Minister Mathias Cormann and cabinet secretary in the Turnbull government, Simon Atkinson, to the head of the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development; and
  • appointment of former Liberal Party staffer, Michael Brennan, to head of the Productivity Commission.

*Australia’s public service has already been stripped raw by decades of government outsourcing, waves of senior redundancies, as well as a preference for governments to seek advice from paid consultants, erroneously named ‘think tanks’, and political staffers.

*The end result is that the “frank and fearless advice” that the public service was once renowned for has vanished, replaced by spin and purchased analysis designed to support a pre-conceived political agenda.

*Nowhere is this propaganda more obvious than the Australian Treasury, which has become a blatant shill for the Federal Government, as evidenced by the department’s dodgy Budget forecastsdodgy modelling around company tax cuts, as well as dodgy propaganda around mass immigration.

Further examples of the corruption of the Treasury can be found here and here.

PM&C secretary Martin Parkinson. Photo: Rohan Thomson

 PM&C secretary Martin Parkinson. Photo: Rohan Thomson

Australia Post chief executive Ahmed Fahour: almost certainly our highest-paid public servant. Photo: Luis Ascui

Australia Post chief executive Ahmed Fahour: almost certainly our highest-paid public servant. Photo: Luis Ascui

In short, this “reform” agenda reads like Scott Morrison is telling the public service to “do what they’re told” and to not question government decision-making.

And with it, we should expect the public service to morph entirely into government shill “yes men/women”.

*It is also unlikely to save taxpayers in the long-run with public servants’ wages replaced by expensive external consultants, as we witnessed after the Howard Government’s downsizing in the late-1990s.

Unconventional Economist

Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.

scott morrison public service

TND: Gone Renee Leon, Mike Mrdak and Kerri Hartland. Photos: AAP