Audit just a 'rubber stamp' for job cuts

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The union movement says the federal government's commission of audit is determined to cut jobs and services by rubber stamping the Coalition's ideological approach.

The ACTU's submission to the commission claims the body is rushing its work and appears to have a favourable view on outsourcing.

The audit is based on false assumptions and could result in higher costs and lower quality of services, ACTU president Ged Kearney said.

''Abbott's razor gang is out to cut jobs, cut services and hand it all over to their big business mates,'' she said.

The submission argues there has not been a significant expansion in the size of Commonwealth expenditure or revenues as a proportion of the economy.

It says the commission's terms of reference make the false implication that the Commonwealth has not been ''living within its means'' and that no efforts have been made to pay down debt.


It also says the commission's target - to achieve savings sufficient to deliver a surplus of 1 per cent of GDP before 2023-24 - is already happening.

The ACTU is damning in its criticism of any push towards privatisation and outsourcing of government services.

It says it is difficult to find evidence to support the assumption that private firms are more efficient and cost-effective than the public sector in operating and delivering public services.

''In the absence of transparent evidence-based recommendations, the commission will invite the suspicion that it exists merely to rubber-stamp pre-existing preferences for private-sector ownership and provision,'' the submission says. ''This will undermine public trust in the policy process and be likely to generate considerable opposition to changes in government activities that appear to be driven by ideology rather than evidence.''

Ms Kearney said the federal government intended to follow the British ''Big Society'' concept that she said caused a massive rise in unemployment, privatisation, outsourcing and drastically pared down public services.

''We've already seen it in Queensland where the Newman government's own razor gang cut jobs and cut public health and social services,'' she said.

"This isn't about the future of public finances or the needs of the Australian community, it's about the interests of big business, at the expense of families and communities around the country.

"The community expects the government to spend our taxes wisely and provide quality, accessible services that meet the needs of those that use them, not to hand the job over to big business to make a profit.

"Australians can see this for what it is - Mr Abbott driven by ideology once again and backing his big business mates at the expense of ordinary, hardworking Australians.''