12 May 2013

Public sector cuts likely in Australian budget

12:37 pm on 12 May 2013

Australia's public service is being asked to find $580 million in savings to help fund disability care and education reforms in Tuesday's federal budget.

The savings, over four years, will be made through management changes, reducing office space and consolidating administrative functions across departments, AAP reports.

Finance Minister Penny Wong says they will build on more than $A14 billion in public sector efficiencies and better government practices already achieved by the Labor government.

"We are improving the public service and ensuring government plays its part to fund important investments in the future such as DisabilityCare Australia and the National Plan for School Improvement," Senator Wong told AAP.

She insists the government will continue to deliver the services families depend on.

The changes include better managing staffing levels.

For the second year in a row, there has been a small decrease in the number of core public servants, excluding military, reserves and ASIO.

"Our changes are in direct contrast to (Opposition Leader Tony) Mr Abbott's plan to savagely cut public service jobs by 20,000 which would impact on the important services Australian families rely on," Senator Wong said."