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Issue #1620      November 27, 2013

Tax Office cuts bad for workers and economy

Wide-ranging cuts in the Australian Tax Office (ATO) will result in delays in the collection and assessment of taxes, at a time when government revenues are under pressure, says the union that represents tax workers.

The ATO has announced that 900 jobs will go in the next seven months – the largest single cut in the public service since the Abbott government took office.

Community and Public Sector Union national secretary Nadine Flood said the job cuts will compound the pressure on tax workers who are already labouring under previous cuts.

“This is a massive blow for tax staff who are already stretched after previous budget and job cuts. There’s no way around that. What this will mean is significant delays for people and small businesses who rely heavily on the tax office for advice. The ATO cannot afford to lose talented and experienced staff.”

Ms Flood siad that the provision of decent health, education, infrastructure and other public services depends on having an effective Tax Office, collecting revenue and ensuring big business pays its fair share.

Ms Flood noted that these cuts are just the latest in a slew of redundancies to have been announced under the Abbott government, including in the departments of Health, Environment, Treasury, Attorney General, and Finance, to name a few.

“The Tax Office has clearly said these cuts come as a result of government policy, including efficiency dividends, the planned reduction of thousands of public service jobs and the recruitment freeze. What we’re seeing is the impact of Coalition policies.

“Mr Abbott needs to come clean on how many public service jobs he plans to cut. If, as seems increasingly likely, he is planning to shed more than the 12,000 public sector jobs he promised would be the limit then he needs to come clean and tell the public.”

Next article – Last-ditch Tas plea to “kill” Heritage Bill

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