Public Servant Bonus is Deeply Offensive in Drought Ravaged Queensland: CCIQ

Sunday 22 September, 2019 | By: Dan Petrie

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) calls on the Queensland Government to not proceed with a proposed $250 million cash splash on the state’s public servants which is both fiscally reckless and morally wrong when so many small businesses, farmers and families are dealing with drought.

The Queensland Government employs more than 250,000 full-time equivalent public servants which account for almost half of the state’s expenditure.

CCIQ Head of Media, Dan Petrie said the announcement of a $250 million payment to public servants is sadly a political decision and follows the rushed announcement that the government will pursue legislation to force retailers into a paying public holiday rates on Christmas Eve.

“At some point the Premier and Treasurer will have to explain to the state’s 1.7 million full-time workers why they are not entitled to a bonus, provide a sane reason as to why Christmas Eve is now a public holiday and establish a narrative as to why private sector is not investing in Queensland.

“The treasurer in parliament only a fortnight ago said economic conditions had deteriorated that are perhaps best exemplified by the state’s ascent to being the bankruptcy capital of Australia,” Mr Petrie said. 

CCIQ rejects the notion that this payment will spur economic activity when so many public servants choose to accrue leave than contribute meaningfully to boosting consumption levels in the Queensland economy.

“There are people in regional Queensland who are going without a shower on a daily basis, eating stale food and wrestling with financial distress that is causing genuine mental anguish.

“The small business community is appalled at this announcement and would strongly advise the government to reconsider this move,” Mr Petrie said.

CCIQ notes Queensland's spends A$24 billion for 250,000 public servants while New Zealand spends $NZ23 billion for its workforce of 350,000.

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