Earlier this year, Senator Kim Carr observed that, “The pleasure taken in bureaucrat bashing has reached new extremes.” CPD’s research confirms the Senator’s view. Our analysis of the Parliamentary record, in particular, reveals a highly polarised debate without consistent left-right positions. This pattern is reflected in media commentary, where public servants are sometimes depicted as “wasters”, “pen pushers” and “freeloaders”.
Surveys of citizens’ views reveal more positive views. In fact, Australians generally support increased funding on public services and express confidence in public service agencies.
Attitudes Toward the Public Service will be released on July 19th as the second installment in CPD’s upcoming State of the Australian Public Service: An Alternative Report.
CPD Media on the Public Service
There’s a tendency for conservative commentators to describe the public sector as bloated and ever-expanding. More public servants than we could ever want or need. Witness Joe Hockey’s recent vision of a brave new world in which 12,000 public servants would be retrenched… “for starters”. The reality of public service staffing is, it seems, very different. CPD’s Public Service Program Research Director, James Whelan discusses the findings of the first installment of his research paper, with BNet’s Phil Dobbie.
Looking at trends in 1990-2010 APS staffing and budgets, OECD data on government expenditure and the ongoing pressure of the efficiency dividend, James suggests that public-sector staffing is not the nightmare that conservatives describe.
LISTEN to James dispel a few myths as he chats with BNet’s Phil Dobbie here.
CPD’s Public Service Research Director, James Whelan unpacks election time attitudes and campaign spin surrounding public service sector. He takes a close look at Queensland’s aspiring Premier, Campbell Newman whose campaign has foreshadowed cuts to public services, and offers some advice about what Australians really care about.
Read James Whelan’s article in ABC’s The Drum Unleashed here.
CPD’s upcoming paper State of the Australian Public Service: An Alternative Report will soon be available.
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