Qld public service freeze – my Courier-Mail comments

Well done to the Courier-Mail’s Steven Wardill for his scoop on the Queensland public service hiring freeze in today’s paper: Qld public service hiring freeze to rein in budget (pay-walled). I spoke with Steven about the hiring freeze yesterday afternoon and he’s quoted me in his article:

Respected Queensland economist Gene Tunny strongly backed the hiring ban.

“The fact is they are going to have very heavy cash needs in the next six months because of the money going out the door and the hit to revenue they have had, so they are really being prudent not putting on more people,” he said.

However Mr Tunny said the State Budget would have been in better shape had the Government not been so spendthrift.

Check out the Courier-Mail for the full story. For the back story on Queensland’s public finances, check out my 2018 book Beautiful One Day, Broke the Next: Queensland’s Public Finances since Sir Joh and Sir Leo.


Queensland’s Tower of Power, 1 William St, Brisbane. Photo by Jennifer Tunny.

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2 Responses to Qld public service freeze – my Courier-Mail comments

  1. Russell Rogers says:

    Hi Gene, Does the expression, “spend like drunken sailors”, apply to the QLD government? Labor governments have a couple of things in their favour that conservative governments don’t.
    a) no one really expects them to balance a budget, so
    b) they can keep hiring public service employees to grow the size of government and ensure that many more people are dependant of having a Labor government so votes are in the bag.
    Greece is an excellent case in point where it was impossible to get the socialist governments out because so many people were dependant on the governments purse…then it all came crashing down.

    • Gene Tunny says:

      Hi Russell, I think the evidence suggests left-of-centre governments tend to expand the public service more than right-of-centre governments, but I’ll need to check that. One general factor tending to favour public sector/service growth is that the public service is a huge voting bloc. This is something that the Newman Government discovered. It’s public service cuts were hugely unpopular in critical marginal seats with lots of public servants.

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