Newman claims voters ‘thankful’ about massive job cuts

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Newman claims voters ‘thankful’ about massive job cuts

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman claims voters have thanked him for slashing thousands of public service jobs, but has cast doubt on whether the job cuts were necessary at all.

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Queensland Premier Campbell Newman claims voters have thanked him for slashing thousands of public service jobs, but has cast doubt on whether the job cuts were necessary at all.

Queensland unions have responded to the mass forced redundancies by planning a state-wide strike to protest against the cuts on 12 September ― the day after the State Government hands down its first Budget.
 
‘Voters understood’
 
Newman said yesterday that he spent time at the weekend in his electorate and found voters understood the reasons behind the job cuts.

‘I talk to my MPs and I talk to people in the community. I spent a lot of time out and about in Ashgrove, my electorate, at the weekend, talking to people,’ he said.

‘And you know what? I didn’t have one single person come up to me and express concern about this.’

‘Yes, we’re getting sort of orchestrated email campaign documents or letters from the union operatives.’

‘But people came up to me all weekend and said: “We know you’re making the tough decisions, thank you, keep going”.’
However, Newman said the job cuts would not have happened at all if savings had been made in other areas.

Newman also said the jobs could have been saved if he had taken a different approach to the state’s finances — including politicians accepting a pay freeze.

‘If, hypothetically, we’d said at the beginning everyone have a pay freeze ― politicians, senior bureaucrats, public servants ― have a pay freeze for three years, we’d save these jobs,’ he said.

‘If there had been a pay freeze or very low pay increases right across the public sector ― and I’m only talking the public sector ― then we could’ve saved all those jobs.’

‘And if pay rises had been far more reasonable given the low rate of inflation then we actually could’ve saved jobs as well.’

‘I don’t want people to lose their jobs. This isn’t fun for me. It’s about sheer financial necessity.’
 
Newman ‘out of touch’
 
Queensland Council of Unions president John Battams said Newman might be out of touch with everyday Australians after his claim that people were happy about the job cuts.

‘I move in circles with ordinary Queenslanders who are exasperated with the haste in which he is slashing and burning,’' Battams said.

‘I think over time, if these decisions continue to come out from this government, people will get very tired.’
 
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