Budget Estimates Committee hearings descended into farce today when the Treasurer refused to detail where the 700 identified public sector cuts will come from, instead passing the buck to individual Ministers who in turn refused to answer the same questions, Greens Leader and Treasury spokesperson Kim Booth MP said.
“Tickets could be sold to watch this farce, as it is a master-class in closed-loop obfuscation, passing the buck, and arrogance,” Mr Booth said.
“When asked to provide a breakdown of where the public sector job cuts will come from across the whole of government, the Treasurer refused and instead stated those questions should be put to each Minister.”
“The Greens have asked each and every Minister over this week for an agency breakdown of job cuts and saving strategy and each Minister has refused to provide the requested information.”
“This farcical full-circle of silence was highlighted when the Treasurer specifically referred Health job cuts questions to the concurrent Health Minister’s estimates committee, where Mr Ferguson had just refused to provide those details when asked by Greens Health spokesperson Cassy O’Connor.”
“The Greens then put this back to the Treasurer, that despite his recommendation to seek that information from the Health Minister it had been denied, yet Mr Gutwein still resorted to the tired old tune that we should ask the Minister, and not him.”
“Either this Budget is built on smoke and mirrors and the Treasurer and the Minister doesn’t know how the agencies are going to deliver their savings or where the 700 jobs are going to come from, or they are deliberately withholding that information.”
“This Budget Estimate week has been one long expensive, protracted and outrageous display of contempt for Parliament and the Tasmanian community,” Mr Booth said.