Good onya Tony

Tony Abbott has proposed sweeping changes in the state sector in Australia:

A COALITION government would take the axe to public service jobs in health, defence and education as part of a promise by Tony Abbott to undertake a thorough audit of federal government spending.

Among those specifically targeted will be the public servants who scrutinise the states’ spending of federal money to ensure the money is not wasted.

In a keynote economic speech delivered in Melbourne yesterday, Mr Abbott said he would establish a commission of audit which would report within four months on all areas of government spending and recommend what spending and which programs could be abolished.

He said the creation of the independent audit commission, which would be similar to one John Howard commissioned in 1996 upon winning government, would be preceded in priority only by abolishing the carbon tax and instructing the navy to turn back asylum seeker boats.

The opposition has already promised to abolish 12,000 federal public servant jobs in its first two years if elected.

Mr Abbott said yesterday he would tell his audit commission to focus on the Health and Education departments and the Defence Materiel Organisation.

He questioned why the federal Health Department has 6000 staff when ”the Commonwealth doesn’t actually run a single hospital or nursing home, dispense a single prescription or provide a single medical service”.

Similarly, he said the Education Department did not need 5000 people when the schools are state-run, and the DMO, which oversees the procurement of defence equipment, had 7000 staff while its British counterpart made do with just 4000.

”It’s vital to ensure that the Commonwealth and its agencies are only doing what they really have to do and doing it as efficiently as they reasonably can,” Mr Abbott said.

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