Queensland taxpayers will be slugged $10m to cut $1.7b from the public service. Picture: iStock
Queensland taxpayers will be slugged $10m to cut $1.7b from the public service. Picture: iStock

Taxpayers to be slugged millions to cut public service costs

TAXPAYERS will pay $10 million over two years for the Palaszczuk Government razor gang tasked with slashing public service waste.

The Service Priority Review Office, announced in the June Budget, has been told to find $200 million in savings next year, rising to $500 million annually as the Government tries to rein in its wages bill, set to hit $25.4 billion in 2019-20 - $1.3 billion more than this year.

It has also been tasked with slashing the Government's consultancy spend following a major review of the public service by former QUT Vice-Chancellor Peter Coaldrake that revealed the state's "hidden workforce" of consultants and contractors was costing about $1.5 billion a year.

In total, the Government wants to make $1.7 billion in savings over four years.

Deputy Premier Jackie Trad. Picture: AAP/Dan Peled
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad. Picture: AAP/Dan Peled

A spokesman for Treasurer Jackie Trad said the Service Priority Review Office would identify savings of $1.7 billion over four years without any forced redundancies.

"The SPRO has a budget of $10 million over two years," he said.

"That equates to 0.588% of the targeted savings.

"Put another way, it represents a targeted return on investment of 170 times the SPRO budget."

He said accounting firms had been invited to tender for various packages of work to be undertaken for the SPRO.

Major consultancy firm PwC has already been brought in to help steer the office, with Nicole Scurrah - a high profile former chief-of-staff to former Premier Anna Bligh whose husband is Virgin chief executive Paul Scurrah - one of the PwC advisers consulting on the project.

Ms Trad's spokesman said PwC were undertaking their work at commercial rates and standard arrangements were in place for managing conflicts of interest.



COVID: What you can and can’t do in Qld right now

Premium Content COVID: What you can and can’t do in Qld right now

Deputy Premier rules out any changes to restrictions this weekend

Glorious arrival welcomed by Rose City gardeners

Premium Content Glorious arrival welcomed by Rose City gardeners

The spring rain has prompted some delicious innovation in the kitchen.

BAD DRIVERS: Frightening crashes and drug drivers

Premium Content BAD DRIVERS: Frightening crashes and drug drivers

The latest list of motorists sentenced in the Warwick court for behaving badly...