NT budget: devil is in detail

Today’s Northern Territory Budget reveals that the Gunner Government has tried to hide budget nasties.

Budget papers expose that the Gunner Government is not providing any money to public sector agencies for a pay rise, that the $1000 ‘taxable bonus’ is coming out of agency budgets, and that the Government is also imposing a 1% ‘efficiency’ savings on NT public service agencies.

With CPI forecast to rise, Gunner’s four year pay freeze will send public sector household budgets into a tailspin. Today’s budget shows that the Government expects wages across the NT to rise by 1.7%, except for their own workforce. (Budget Paper Two Table 1.2)

RBA Governor Philip Lowe has said that low wages threaten economic growth and that workers’ incomes need to rise.

The Gunner Government’s approach to public sector wages will affect workers in private enterprise by lowering their wages over time which will hit our local economy hard. A reduction in NT wages across the board will not attract the workers and population growth that we need.


“The government has shown its disregard for the growing problem of wage stagnation in the Territory and the need to rebuild the economy. If we don’t want our people to leave, we need to make sure they can pay their bills and pay freezes won’t do that.”

“We know that bills and power prices go up by CPI each year, not to mention petrol and rego costs. This four year pay freeze will take millions out of local businesses each year and have long term effects on superannuation for retirement. “

“Today’s budget shows that Michael Gunner is all talk, you can’t say you want to kickstart the economy and help working families on one hand, and then freeze wages.”

“Public sector workers are telling us they are considering leaving the Territory if this goes ahead. Our members are not unreasonable and are happy to discuss a real wage rise with Government for a shorter time such as two years.”

“The efficiency cut across the NT public sector will see cuts to services and capacity across our already stretched public services. This is a slap in the face to the hard work of our public sector who have worked tirelessly to protect us through this pandemic.”

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