Will Hodgman

Premier of Tasmania



6 June 2016

Peter Gutwein, Treasurer

Statement on Budget Savings Strategies

This third Hodgman Liberal majority Government Budget shows that Tasmania is well and truly back on track, and back in the black.

Importantly, the Budget is back on track and will be back in surplus in of $77.3 million in 2016-17 – three years ahead of schedule, the first surplus in seven years. 

As we have consistently stated, there are no new savings measures in the budget.

There are no hidden job cuts.

The Government’s wages policy is fully funded in this budget to ensure wages growth of up to two per cent can be supported in full. 

As I have outlined, the timing of some National Partnership Agreements are yet to be renegotiated.  This is not unusual and occurs in every Budget.  It has an impact because the Forward Estimates of both revenue and expenditure only factor in known and confirmed National Partnership agreements. 

In 2014-15, we factored into the Budget and Forward Estimates structural savings of $573m in Agency Savings.  These were phased in across the Forward Estimates period, with the heavy lifting to be achieved in the 2014-15 year, but some incremental savings to be achieved over each of the following three years. 

The savings factored in for 2016-17 and 2017-18 do need to be delivered upon, as they are in-built into the 2016-17 Budget, but these savings represent only 2.4 per cent of the $574m of original savings. 

The composition of those savings are $11.7 million in the coming financial year, and $2 million the following year (17-18) (see table 1).

In relation to FTEs, total FTEs as at March 2016 were 24 017. This represents a net reduction in FTEs of 531 FTE from the level that was in place at the end of June 2014.  (table 2)

While the Government’s 2014-15 savings strategy required the reduction of savings equivalent to 1,200 FTEs, this does not mean that a further reduction of 669 FTEs is now required.

In fact, since July 2014 and March 2016, there has been a total of 1282 people exit the general government sector by way of WRIPs or TNVRs, comprising 400 people by way of a voluntary redundancy and 882 by way of a WRIP.

The reduction of 531 FTE since June 14 is the net change in employment within the General Government Sector, and reflects a range of factors.  These include the structural savings factored into Agency Budgets in the 2014-15 Budget and carried forward, the take-up of WRIPss and the replacement of those positions over time, the uptake of TNVRs, new positions associated with new funding from initiatives announced in the 2015-16 Budget and resourcing provided for in changed funding with the Australian Government.

In relation to TNVRs, a total of 76 have been paid between 1 July 2015 and 31 March 2016 at a total cost of $4 817 625.

In relation to WRIPs, a total of 219 payments have been paid between 1 July 2015 and 31 March 2016 at a total cost of $4 918 040.

Table 1:                   Incremental Savings from 2014‑15 Budget Savings Strategies

 

2016-17

2017-18

 

$m

$m

Education

6.4

0.4

Health and Human Services

0.9

1.9

Tasmanian Health Organisations

2.3

(0.9)

Justice

0.2

0.0

Ministerial and Parliamentary Support

0

0.0

Police and Emergency Management

0.5

0.1

Premier and Cabinet

0.1

0.0

Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment

0.1

0.0

State Growth

1

0.3

Treasury and Finance

0

0.0

Small Agencies

0.2

0.0

 

11.7

2.0

TABLE 2: FTE Reduction Summary Table since 30 June 2014 ‑ 31 March 2016

 

June

2014

March

2016

Change

 June 2014

to

March 2016

 

   

Education1

7 784

7 630

(154)

Health and Human Services

1 844

1 644

(200)

Tasmanian Health Service

7 927

8 006

80

Justice

1 082

1 102

21

Ministerial and Parliamentary Support

 120

119

(1)

Police and Emergency Management

1 486

1 521

36

Premier and Cabinet

 367

466

992

Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment2,3

1 250

1 084

(167)

State Growth

 849

679

(169)

Tasmania Fire Service

 476

489

14

TasTAFE

770

710

(61)

Tourism Tasmania

 56

51

(5)

Treasury and Finance

 272

259

(13)

All Parliamentary and Statutory Offices

319

311

(8)

    

Total General Government Sector FTEs4

24 602

24 071

(531)

1    The school census in March is the most appropriate basis for measuring employment in the DoE given the proportion of total employment comprised by teaching numbers.  The FTE of permanent and fixed term staff employed by the DoE in March 2016 was 7 511, which was 207 FTE more than was employed one year earlier in March 2015.  Over the same period, the number of permanent and fixed term teachers increased by 109 FTE.  In 2016, resourcing has been provided for 33 FTE more teachers that was available in 2014 on a same enrolment basis.

2    On 1 July 15, 117.8 FTE were transferred from DPIPWE to DPAC reflecting the transfer of Service Tasmania between these agencies

3    On 1 July 15, 10.26 FTE were transferred from DSG to DPIPWE through the transfer of Racing Services.

4    Figure may not add, owing to rounding.



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