Senator Ben Shenton says that ministers have failed to take tough decisions on their budgets and are going for emotive cuts to present the image of an efficient public sector.
The former Health Minister says that the approach taken to cuts in the 2010 Business Plan shows that ministers and senior civil servants are playing a cynical game to protect their budgets and staffing levels.
‘They are not taking any tough decisions at all,’ he said. ‘They’re doing all of the shroud-waving and saying how great they are but ultimately we are not getting to the root of the problem, which is middle-management levels, and making senior management sweat for their money.
‘It is the most blatant piece of shroud-waving and misinformation that they have given to the public.’
The Business Plan, which was released on Tuesday, proposes £754m worth of revenue and capital spending next year. It also includes £17m in cuts to fund extra funding in priority service areas.