There’s an idea

From the Daily Telegraph:

If [NSW premier Mike] Baird wants to find more health funding, there are other measures he could look at [rather than lobby for an increased GST]. He could get rid of the upper house, he could get rid of a third of his ministers, he could get rid of a third of his departments.

We still have 330,000 state bureaucrats. You get no argument from me that we should not cut frontline police, nurses, teachers, child case workers. But I do have an issue with not cutting deeper into the cardigan-wearers.

Baird is asking local councils to amalgamate — a strategy I agree with. Perhaps he could also act to make state government smaller.

Yes – spend the billions of dollars that you already have more wisely.

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13 Responses to There’s an idea

  1. Ant

    Would you amputate your left leg to save weight?

  2. Notafan

    That’s already a green policy.

  3. Rabz

    330,000 state bureaucrats

    A truly staggering figure, especially when compared for example, to the number of Commonwealth bureaucrats.

    You get no argument from me that we should not cut frontline … child case workers.

    Not exactly a good example of ‘useful’ frontline wukkas. They are staggeringly incompetent, as social workers are everywhere.

  4. motherhubbard'sdog

    That’s already a green policy.

    No, they want to amputate the right leg.

  5. Craig

    Can’t afford welfare, can’t afford a public service, it will end in tears 10 yrs down the road because the current generation of can kicking politicians are a bunch of spineless jellyfish (and I apologise to all jellyfish, everywhere, it’s not your fault for being spineless).

  6. Des Deskperson

    ‘You get no argument from me that we should not cut frontline police, nurses, teachers, child case workers’

    Yet of the 330,000 NSW public sector employees, 67,000 are teachers, 50,000 are nurses and midwives and 17,000 are cops and fireees. Add ambos, nursing and teaching aides and ‘child case workers’ and we are probably looking at more than half of the sector employees being ‘front line’.

    In the ACT, at least, these ‘front line’ groups are pampered: featherbedded, well paid, not subject to any realistic performance criteria and for all practical purposes unsackable. I’ve no reason to believe that it’s any different in other jurisdictions.

    If the NSW public sector is to be rationally and sensibly downsized, these groups – given their size alone – can’t be quarantined.

  7. old bloke

    But I do have an issue with not cutting deeper into the cardigan-wearers.

    As an occasional cardigan wearer, I object to this discrimination. If I wear a cardigan to work, I get mocked. If I wear my cardigan at home when my children and grandchildren visit, I get mocked. Equal rights for cardigan wearers now, I wear a cardigan and I vote!

  8. Fat Tony

    I’m not too sure about amalgamating local councils – it hasn’t been a rip-roaring success up here in Queensland.

    All it seems to have done is create a more bloated “local” government that is further away from the people.
    Prior to our amalgamations, I knew 3 of the local councilors fairly well, but after the amalgamation, they seem to have insulated themselves away from us commoners. Money tends to get spent where the major population is and the surrounding areas tend to miss out.

    I think it was done to make it easier for the state government to deal with a smaller number of larger councils – not for the benefit of the people. One of the large councils has been “de-amalgamated” after a local vote.

    The benefits have been few – except for the extremely generous salaries for the ones at the top.

  9. Joe

    Money tends to get spent where the major population is councillors decide the latest fad is and the surrounding areas tend to miss out.

    Council’s – probably the most useless and intrusive facet of “government”.
    RABZ them!

  10. PoliticoNT

    Finally someone has the plain f***ing sense to flag why Baird is so keen on a GST increase – i.e., I’m a gutless f***ing wonder when it comes to reforming my out of control, national economy killing public sector, so please just the raise the GST, and to paraphrase Craig above – let me just kick this can down the road ten years.

    (Note – A short set of briefing notes I provided for a friend meeting with various members of Cabinet in Canberra last week stated exactly this. One high profile Minister asked for a copy. He’s not from NSW. My view is Baird and Wetherill have buckley’s off getting this up. The public ain’t stupid.)

  11. Diogenes

    If the NSW public sector is to be rationally and sensibly downsized, these groups – given their size alone – can’t be quarantined.

    Yes nurse & teacher numbers can be cut without affecting “frontline” services.

    In NSW there are lots of teachers occupying “2 year temp” slots in district & regional offices throughout the state, in Head Office & in BOSTES. All have the “right of return” to their “permanent” school at the end, or at any time during their secondment. One could easily winkle out a few hundred here. Our deputies are supposed to have a teaching load, but somehow the timetable sees them “supervising” students in study periods in the library when the librarian is there (so effectively they have no teaching load – we could save at 1-2 FTEs out of a staff of 80 if they taught actual classes)

    Many years ago when the “certification” of hospitals that had been around since forever was taking place, I had an interesting chat with the then CEO of the Mater in Brizzie. (put your photo in a lift, expect people to tackle you in the lift 🙂 ) about the dropping number of nurses in the wards. His response was that he was employing more nurses, but they had desk positions (Nurse Ethicist springs to mind) or were working in special clinics that were only open 9-3. He cited the fact that in the past there was Matron assisted by 1 or 2 clerks, then (this was the mid 90’s) he had a DoN (Matron) and 4 ADONs (one for training & certification & I don’t remember what the other 3 did – but they were very rarely seen in a ward) + assorted clerks to do the same work. I expect it is the same in NSW hospitals so I exepect a few hundred could be winkled out of those spots.

    Ditto for the Police – little bro reached rank of Inspector in just over 10 years, and apart from his probation year, and 6 months while he waited for his application to the prosecution branch to go through , had not actually worked in a station (funny story could be told here , but one his classmates at the Academy was not amused to find this out years later, he was still only a Senior Const after 15 years.)

  12. Diogenes

    I’m not too sure about amalgamating local councils – it hasn’t been a rip-roaring success up here in Queensland.

    If you have larger councils you absolutely need to have wards & Councillors represent a specific ward – not like the 2 ward system we have – 6 Councillors each, or no wards like Tweed Heads. When we lived in TH there was not 1 councillor that lived in Tweed(or Sth Tweed, or West Tweed) proper, and trying to interest a councillor in anything was next to impossible. – Some bastrad need to his meal ticket on the line for local issues.

    I would have preferred the Kennett approach – sack the councillors, appoint administrators to see the merge through, then hold fresh elections, I can see our Mayors are getting waaaaaaaaaay to cozy, so I expect to be right royally rogered by the time the merger is complete..

  13. Diogenes

    ome bastrad need to his meal ticket on the line for local issues.

    FFS “some bastrad needs to have his meal…”

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