2019-2020 State Budget

18 June 2019

Treasurer Rob Lucas MLC handed down the 2019-20 State Budget today.

 

The Public Service Association (PSA) does not support any budget that reduces the public sectors' ability to provide services to our community. This budget once again asks our already stretched public services to do more with even less, while keeping public money sitting idle as a surplus for the sake of a good headline for the Treasurer and his Government.

 

On top of the cuts and privatisations announced in the last State Budget, the new budget includes more than 1500 additional job cuts. On radio this evening the Treasurer stated these job cuts will come from so-called ‘back office’ jobs. PSA General Secretary Nev Kitchin hit back at the Treasurer, saying "There's one thing that really gets on my nerves, together with our members’ (nerves), and it's the terminology of 'you don't need to worry it's just back office people, you'll still have police and you'll still have nurses and doctors, the cuts will be to back office people'. Well it's the back office people that support everybody else on the front line. I've always found it offensive that they just categorise people as being 'back office people'".

 

It appears that the important role our members who work in support functions provide is lost on the Treasurer.

 

The budget also includes additional savings measures imposed on agencies of $360m over four years. The total Public Sector savings target for 2019-20 is $653m and increases each year thereafter in the forward estimates.

 

The TVSP scheme put in place in the last budget will be carried over until 1 January 2020 in an effort to assist reaching the Government’s FTE savings target.

 

There are a handful of positives in the budget such as extra funding for early intervention in Child Protection, however this does not offset the previous budget where the government cut funding Child Protection programs like Financial Counselling, which is core to helping young people and families out of the child protection system, as well as huge cuts and privatisations including:

 

  • The Adelaide Remand Centre to be handed over to notorious private provider Serco
  • SA Pathology told to save over $100m or face privatisation, a privatisation risk which remains
  • Radiography in Murray Bridge and Port Pirie identified for privatisation
  • Privatisation of road, bridge and port maintenance and traffic signal maintenance
  • Closure of Tafe Campuses
  • Park Rangers cut despite promises they would be increased

 

State budgets are more than just the dollars and cents, they are a statement by the Government about the level of care and respect they have for the community they represent.

 

It's disappointing that the Government has once again chosen not to invest in benefiting the lives of South Australians by properly resourcing our Public Services. This is the second budget where this Government has chosen to deliver South Australians a reduction in services and an increase to their cost of living.

 

The PSA is undertaking further analysis of the budget and will provide agency specific updates as required.