November 20, 2017

Police pay rise sacrificed to Government vote-buying spend

Police Minister Michelle Roberts is being dishonest when she says the Government cannot afford to give police officers the 1.5 per cent pay increase Labor promised during the election.

Speaking at the WA Police Union Annual Conference today, Opposition Leader Mike Nahan said the Minister was being further dishonest in attempting to lay the current pay dispute at the feet of the former Government.

“Is this Government in charge yet?” Dr Nahan said.

“The Police Minister should concentrate on sitting down and negotiating in good faith with the WA Police Union rather than craning around trying to sling mud over her shoulder.

“If the Minister were honest she would say ‘the State Government cannot give the 1.5 per cent pay increase it promised because it made too many promises and now can’t afford to keep them all’.

“If the McGowan Government was prepared to cut back on some of the spending commitments it made to buy votes in marginal electorates it could afford to keep its promise to the WA Police Union.

“The Liberal Opposition supports the Police Union claim for 1.5 per cent because it is just, it is appropriate and it was promised.”

Dr Nahan also said he did not believe the State Government could achieve the public sectors cuts it had built into its first budget without adversely affecting frontline services, including in the police force.

“The McGowan Government’s budget saving is based largely on cutting a further 3000 public servants,” Dr Nahan said.

“I know from my time as Treasurer, when we put in place 5,500 public sector voluntary redundancies, Treasury told us any further redundancies would necessarily mean cuts to critical frontline services.

“While the Opposition will support the State Government to drive efficiencies in backroom operations it will not support cuts that undermine or erode frontline policing.”

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