Private Sector Recession – Public Sector Party

From the Spec Flat White:

This morning the Australian Bureau of Statistics released its survey on public sector employment and salaries. And what a release.

As of 30 June 2020, there were over two million public servants across the three levels of Australian government costing $174 billion, yes billion dollars.  And that’s just salaries.  This does not include travel, accommodation or Cartier watches.  That’s also more than the annual cost of Australian welfare. 

But wait.  There’s more:

The Australian public sector accounted for 16.5% of the number of people employed as at end June 2020.  Up from 15.9% twelve months earlier.  But wait.  There’s more.  This is before the Victorian government annihilated its private sector economy and before the public sector wage increases kicked in.  And no doubt this will not surprise, but the average per employee cost across all state government increased by 5.1%.  But special mention for Victoria whose public servants costs increased by an average 7.3%.  For the public sector employees reading, they should not panic.  This is before the salary increases that kicked in on 1 July 2020.

Read the whole thing here.

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32 Responses to Private Sector Recession – Public Sector Party

  1. Bronson says:

    So which one of you here is the tax payer propping all this up?

  2. NuThink says:

    And the charity industry supports about 10% of the workforce AFAIK. With 60,0000 odd charities and not for profits we will sooner than later reach Keating’s Banana Republic status.

    But maybe, just maybe the charities are already included in the Public Service employment figures.

    The Smith Family advertises that more than a million Ozzie kids are living in poverty. How can that be in a “rich” country like Australia, and especially since Bob Hawke said that “no child will be living in poverty”. I guess he meant in the never never.

  3. NuThink says:

    #3656763, posted on November 12, 2020 at 3:07 pm
    So which one of you here is the tax payer propping all this up?

    No taxpayers needed anymore – the government has so many investments that bring in all these fantastic returns.
    Taxpayer are superfluous to their needs these days.

  4. rickw says:

    “The Government Bubble” is what we’re calling it at work.

  5. John Bayley says:

    No taxpayers needed anymore – the government has so many investments the magic printers at the RBA that bring in all these fantastic returns.


  6. Dr Faustus says:

    The Australian public service became self-aware under John Howard.

  7. Anonandon says:

    Reading that makes me feel happy and suicidal.

  8. H B Bear says:

    The days of the public service being lower paid plodders that couldn’t get a job in the private sector are long gone. They are the new Medicis. And you are paying for it (My days as a taxpayer are long gone. I’ve been forced to cash in my chips.)

  9. Nob says:

    And most of these twats want to shut down mining, drilling, agriculture.

    Where’s the money coming from them?

  10. Cynic of A says:

    At what point does the wealth spenders outnumber the wealth creators?
    We must be getting close, especially as the numbers are only part of the actual people payed by taxes.
    Also, the real laugh comes when the Public Sector people say, “But we pay taxes too!”
    Consider also, that their ABC are not Public Servants, as such, but their entire wages come from Taxes
    So, what comes next? Ah… socialism! Everyone is then on the government payroll!
    I reckon Morrison is going to make Gillard and Rudd look like rank amateurs in spending other people’s money.

  11. Des Deskperson says:

    It’s depressing to note that while the number of APS employees had been in steady if by no means spectacular decline since the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd regime, at 30 June this year the numbers were creeping up again, with a 2.5% increase since 30 June 2019.

    The April freeze on the APS annual pay increments contained in agency EAs – usually 2% – was rescinded on 30 October. Well, there will have been some savings.

    Cynic, the ABC are public servants, even if they are not employed under the Public Service Act. The ABC is almost totally budget funded, which is why its lack of accountability and openness in key areas of management, employment and finance is scandalous.

    The argument that public servants ‘pay taxes too’ and that their wages contribute to spending power is crap. It costs a hell of a lot to pay, support, accommodate, train, and superannuate a public servant. It’s been estimated, for the APS at least, that for every dollar public servants ‘contribute’ to the economy through tax and spending power, the cost to other taxpayers – and the impact, therefore, on their spending power – is $2.00 to $2.50.

  12. Neil says:

    What is also depressing is that PS’s get 15.4% Superannuation. Why do these people get higher benefits than the people whose taxes pay their wages??

  13. Texas Jack says:

    Leaving aside the natural moronic tendencies of the state governments, it’s pretty clear Morrison took the leadership with the interests of only one person in mind when he did, hang the longer-run interests of the base of the Party who got him over the line. Remember the old “how great is Queensland, eh?”

    Maybe he’ll win again in ’22, but as the JobVapour payments evaporate, and if the ALP decide to switch to a shiny younger leader who pulls back from Shorten climate-rhetoric, and if the obvious debt load starts to build pressures for tax increases the big spending BS Morrison’s doled-out this year will be long-forgotten. Gone too will be some of the people who helped him in 2019, me among them (funding, memberships, handing-out HTVs, and scrutineering).

    I’ve typed these comments here before – but wouldn’t a good dose of creative destruction be useful in the correction of the parties of the Right (ahem) in Australia? In the wilderness, the base deserting them as they’ve deserted the base, first preference to Latham, second to The Shooters, then the donkey.

  14. Mike Ryan says:

    We’re all in this, together.
    Repeat after me.

  15. Squirrel says:

    If the Pfizer vaccine lives up to its early promise, and other vaccines prove to be similarly effective, the excuse for maintaining hyper-Keynesian spending, including an over-sized and overpaid public sector, will diminish greatly.

    Unfortunately, the massive debts we’ve incurred will not diminish greatly, so any arguments that we can just go back to our merry (pre-virus) ways of living beyond our means will not wash.

    The federal government should do its bit with a serious effort to cut federal/state duplication in bureaucracies and should start putting pressure on state and territory governments to streamline their public sectors. The last time I heard a federal politician pursue the latter issue was when then Treasurer Costello argued that too much of the revenue windfall from the early days of the GST was being wasted by the states on expanding bureaucracies.

    Since then, the states have done the same with the stamp duty revenue windfall from the property boom – which is why some of them now want to apply land tax to the principal place of residence, because they’ve treated the boom-time stamp duty revenues as the natural state of affairs.

  16. Shy Ted says:

    I think it’s the duty of every sick Australian to visit as many government agencies as possible and breathe on the employees.

  17. Shaun says:

    The other problem with the numbers is the amount of private firms who are completely reliant on Government contracts that they should really be counted as government institutions. Every business that is still afloat in my industry is because they have work from government contracts.
    There is a lot of private companies hidden away, including new startups, just servicing government contracts. Think NBN, Renewables, NDIS, Waste management, Hotel Security, etc, etc.

  18. Boxcar says:

    Most voters now have every reason to believe that the Federal government can print as much money as they like, and if they don’t print it, out with them. Dan is in on this one too. He will have his evil hands out, and Scotty from Marketing will pay the piper

    In the meantime, real businesses, struggling to survive the Dandemic, first had to tolerate the thieves at Worksafe running bullshit TV ads in the middle of it. Now they are robocalling and emailing veiled threats while no doubt still working from home.
    And just try to tell any public servant that the economy would not miss a beat if they all retired tomorrow.
    Tax wise, the public service is just a massive Ponzi scheme.

  19. H B Bear says:

    Shaun – you mean like Mrs KRuddy who made a multi million dollar fortune doing just that while hubby supped at the trough.

  20. Scott Osmond says:

    Mike took the words out of my keyboard. We are all in this together peasant. Now do and believe as your moral and intellectual superiors tell you. As for taxpayers. We don’t need no stinking taxpayers the RBA has quantitative easing and is only too happy to buy up debt. Just don’t ask the real inflation rate and for god’s sake don’t pay any attention to history. This time is different. For reasons.

  21. Professor Fred Lenin says:

    You cant criticise the Victorian public employees and politicians ,they are the only ones earning and paying tax during the Chinese Biowar Dandemic , everyone else wasnt allowed to work while the Dandemic public employees tried to correcr the mistakes they had made and the monumental stuff up it became .
    I see another PS Mandarin committed public Hari Kari to save Dandemic Dans Arse ,how many will follow if the presure is kept up om him ? Make him suffer .keep him under constant questioning and presure he will crack one day.

  22. Nob says:

    #3657165, posted on November 12, 2020 at 9:39 pm
    The other problem with the numbers is the amount of private firms who are completely reliant on Government contracts that they should really be counted as government institutions.

    And the number of value-sapping employees that productive businesses have to employ just to deal with the armies of inspection and compliance vampires that descend on any enterprise like protection racketeers.

  23. one old bruce says:

    ‘And the charity industry supports about 10% of the workforce AFAIK. With 60,0000 odd charities and not for profits..’

    I live in one of the big lesbian parts of Oz where they began to retreat from the city in the 1970s. They set up ‘businesses’ to employ each other which of course became not-for-profit because they liked the security of a regular wage over taking risks for bigger gains or losses. Seeems like a female thing – gay men are often wealthier than female LGBs.

    So, some purple haired young women set up a vegan shop and gallery here recently, absolutely oozing sustainable virtue, employing every female they knew, and waddya know – it didn’t make enough to support them all. No probs, apply for govt grant and declare non-profit ‘co-op’. Teh wimmens seek security and are risk averse, as a general rule methinks. Has anyone studied gender and entrepreneurs, apart from the ‘discrimination’ perspective? To see where all this is going?

  24. min says:

    Thomas Sowell said many moons ago that when there are too many people in the cart and fewer pulling it , the cart ain’t going nowhere . ( paraphrase)

  25. min says:

    Oh I ain’t in the cart yet but given the prospects for SFR s may have to hop on up in future.

  26. Ozman says:

    Nobody who is paid by the government pays tax.
    What they have taken out of their salary or wages is like a virtual game or a Clayton’s beer.
    They may as well not pay any tax at all.
    Govt. employees taxes do not contribute anything to infrastructure, just 20-40% of next week’s pay, which is gotten from the real workers in private industry.
    The virtual economy known as the house of cards will soon fall down.

  27. Ozman says:

    one old bruce
    #3657430, posted on November 13, 2020 at 7:24 am

    Has anyone studied gender and entrepreneurs, apart from the ‘discrimination’ perspective? To see where all this is going?

    I would like to see that, if one ever sees the light of day.

  28. NuThink says:

    one old bruce

    #3657430, posted on November 13, 2020 at 7:24 am
    ‘And the charity industry supports about 10% of the workforce AFAIK. With 60,0000 odd charities and not for profits..’

    I saw a small placard behind the door in one of my clients offices 44 years ago which read

    This is a non profit organization.
    It was not meant to be but that is the way it is turning out”

  29. Shaun says:

    @ H B Bear that is another one. Employment agencies. Business like Rudds wife are all over the place. Business that would sink and be totally unviable if taxpayers weren’t footing the bill. Charities, etc, read their annual reports and you will find their revenue can be 99% from taxpayers, hundreds of millions, with small amounts from donations and fundraising.
    Huge corporations are on government teat. Taking grants, funding, special programs, training deals. Noone has any real money, everything is borrowed against, with the system completely designed for using other peoples money.
    Nuthink is on the right path in regards to government and their assets, investments, super funds, which are then used to create, borrow, print more money. One big bubble just requiring a little pin prick to burst.

  30. IG says:

    The scary thing here is that although there are over 2 million public servants, that does not count the significant number of workers that derive their income directly as consultants to government – I am one of those in the infrastructure sector and every single competitor of ours has job advertisements out. Business is good!

  31. Lurks says:

    I’m no lover of the civil servants…. apart from those dedicated souls that grace the essential services they do naught but bludge and make trouble in my book.

    Nevertheless I read just this last week that the average Oz wage was $85000 per annum.

    Not having access to these figures at the time, it was all ho hum, but now I’m able to put the 2,000,000 civil servants into their 174 billion of annual costs.
    Unless my math is as shit as the ABC I come up with $87,000 as an average annual wage for a civil servant.

    Given that not all of them receive Cartier watches and ski in Switzerland every year, some of them are obviously getting ripped off

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