Deception. This single word sums up the strategy of the National government in regard to public sector reform. From the initial pre-budget speech to the current day, all we hear of is a move of support to the 'front line'. This front line is education, the health sector and anything else that is in the direct public eye.
Bill English and State Sector minister Tony Ryall announced proposals to shut down five crown entities and three tribunals, combine two government agencies and merge back office administration services across three major state agencies. English constantly directs attention to Australia's streamlined, tight public service system and offers it as reason to slash and burn our slightly messy one. He has made one simple mistake in his reasoning though, numbers of sectors should not directly dictate the number of employees each sector should boast. Job loss frees up revenue but in no way is it a necessary, or even sufficient condition for effectiveness. He has deceived the nation by justifying job loss as a move to a greater good.
The public service is on the diet from hell at the mercy of the metaphorical Jenny Craig's; English and Key. Conveniently enough, the public service is out of the public eye, away from direct scrutiny of every day Joe Blog. Give it three or four years though, and the degree of the current fasting and malnutrition to the back line will become apparent (well clear of this years election of course).
Meanwhile the voters see the front line picking up economic steam, deceived by National into thinking everything is heading back to the black. The fuel to this momentum is the destruction of the black line, the rational behind every move the government make. The irony of this is compelling.
English is looking to gain favour in the direct public eye for the voting year, and he has to gain means from an end that wont cause instant ailment to the election results. Once again National sweeps more mess under the rug, leaving only the question of who will clean it up when the floor becomes too uneven to tread.