Australians Oppose Service Cuts to Balance Budget
7 April 2011 at 9:34 am
Australians are not in favour of returning the budget to surplus in 2012/13 at the expense of public services, new research by the Community and Public Sector Union has shown.
Polling by Essential Media on behalf of the Community and Public Sector Union found the majority of Australians do not want the Federal Government to return the budget to surplus in 2012/13 by slashing public services.
The polling shows that 69% of Australians would prefer a delay in returning the budget to surplus to cuts to services or increases in tax.
49% of respondents said they want Government spending maintained at current levels, while only 22% want spending cut.
Community and Public Sector Union national secretary, Nadine Flood says the research showed deep concern about the effects of cuts to public services.
Flood says cuts to essential services might fill a short-term budget hole, but Australians realise they’ll lead to long-term problems.
She says job cuts at Centrelink and a six-month long staffing freeze at Medicare has resulted in longer queues and poorer services, making it harder for organisations to respond to emergencies like the Queensland floods.
Flood says despite the Federal Government repeatedly saying it will return the budget to surplus in 2012/13, it is clear the public does not want this done at any cost.
She says the Government has a responsibility to ensure that the services built over many years are not damaged by deep cuts. Many vulnerable Australians rely on Government services and their needs should not be sacrificed.
Flood says expectations the Government could increase its so-called ‘efficiency dividend’ from 1.25 per cent to as much as five per cent would have a devastating effect on the delivery of public services.
Speaking at the ACOSS National Conference in Melbourne recently, Greens leader Senator Bob Brown warned of deep cuts in the upcoming budget that will affect Not for Profit organisations.
View the full research at – http://www.essentialmedia.com.au/wp-content/themes/rockwell/documents/essential_report_040411.pdf