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ATO the latest in Abbott’s austerity cuts to the public service

The Community and Public Sector Union has slammed the Abbott Government for pushing ahead with its austerity cuts to the public service with the Australian Tax Office the latest casualty.

In its bid to slash its workforce by 900 by the end of June, ATO management today called on staff to step forward for redundancies.

In a communique to staff the ATO called the process “an enterprise workforce refresh” and told them they had until Friday 21st February to apply.

CPSU Deputy President Alistair Waters said the cuts are just the latest in a long line announced by the Abbott Government since September.

“This latest announcement shows that the Abbott Government’s austerity agenda is ploughing through the PS, cutting jobs and damaging essential services. This Government likes to be talking about creating jobs yet all they seem to be doing is cutting them. Since it came to office this Government has cut close to 4000 jobs – that’s more than one every hour,” he added. 

“The ATO is calling this an ‘enterprise workforce refresh process’ which says nothing and everything at the same time. No matter how they try to dress it up this is a cut of 900 jobs which will reduce the ATO’s capacity to collect the revenue all Australians rely on to fund essential services like health and education,” Mr Waters said.   “Taking 900 Tax Office staff out of the system will have an enormous impact on the important work that it does in providing advice to businesses and individuals.”

 “While we are opposed to such large cuts, calling for expressions of interest is the most sensible way of dealing with what is a very difficult situation for the hardworking and dedicated tax employees.”

Back in November when the ATO announced it had to cut 900 jobs the CPSU warned that the cuts would result in delays in the collection and assessment of revenues.