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.
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.