Time is now for public sector reform

The Marshall Government must capitalise on a rare and long overdue opportunity for public sector reform, Master Builders SA says.

“The business community has been calling for public sector reform for years,” said Mr Markos.

“For far too long, the massively bloated public sector has been a burden on jobs and investment in the private sector.

“There needs to be a focus on a more efficient public sector that doesn’t duplicate services. It must be easier to force underperforming people out, and there must be the political will to do so.

“Businesses need the right macro environment to prosper. Real solutions involve cutting taxes, but you can’t cut taxes unless you are serious about cutting spending.

“The tens of millions of dollars spent on redundancy payments in recent years have failed to reduce the size of the general government sector. Employee expenses for 2017/18 will be a staggering $8.3 billion.

“As at 1 July last year, there were 1300 executives in the South Australian public sector – an extraordinary amount.

“The average salary for public servants of $80,148 is well above the state average.

“As at 30 June 2016, public sector employees comprised 15.7 per cent of all full-time employment. If South Australia was in line with the national average of 12.4 per cent, the State Government would save about $1.2 billion per annum.

“We believe the number of public servants should be in line with the national average by the end of the government’s four year term.

“This is a modest proposal.

“Payroll tax, the infamous ‘tax on jobs’ that is forecast to collect $1.16 billion this year could be abolished.

“South Australia has a rare opportunity to draw a line in the sand and send a strong message that we are open for business.

“It’s time government gets out of the way and lets the private sector do what it does best.”