Flat White

There’s no public service recession, new figures find

12 November 2020

2:23 PM

12 November 2020

2:23 PM

How much is enough?  How much should our children and grandchildren be forced to pay for the cowardice of our political leaders?  How much? 

For all the talk of a recession in Australia, this is not the case.  It is not a universal recension.  This is a private sector recession.  The public sector has not been touched one inch, one iota.  One pinch.  It’s doing just fine. 

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. 

In the 12 months to end June 2020, the 12 months that includes only three months of CoronaParty2020, the number of public sector employees across the three levels of Australian government, decreased by a negligible 0.3% to 2.04 million, but average salary costs increased by 4.6.  Yes.  That’s right.   

And let’s remember that this number of public sector employees does not include “off the books” public servants such as those in so-called business enterprises (the NBN, Sydney Water, Queensland and WA electricity).  It does not include members of the Australian Defence Force or diplomatic staff.  It also does not include “outsourced” public servants such as the armies of compliance officers that permeate the Australian economy ensuring that businesses meet the many, varied and unnecessary functions that public sector regulators are too lazy to do. 

This number of public sector employees is truly mind-blowing, but particularly so when considering that it is more than the entire population of Perth, more than the entire population of Adelaide and almost four times the population of the entirety of Tasmania. 

But the news only gets better.  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. 

These numbers are notably before job keeper gets turned off and before insolvent trading protections are turned off meaning that the employed private sector numbers are artificially enhanced and the public sector as a proportion number is suppressed.  Thus while the Australian private sector has been destroyed, the public sector is just fine.  Hunky-dory. 

Champagne for everyone – in the public sector of course.  Gruel for the people who have to work to generate the wealth to pay for all this fun. 



Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

Show comments