Financial Services Minister Stephen Jones says increase in public servant numbers will save money

This has set off a large round of recruiting, with 1015 vacancies currently on the APS jobs site. Many government agencies are struggling to fill vacancies, experiencing major shortages in key job categories.

Proportion of agencies experiencing job shortages in job categories. APSC  .

“We received some criticism for this, but it was absolutely essential,” Mr Jones said.

“Because we need to build policy capacity. We need to do it in a way that provides for a professional, confident, competent public service.

“We believe we can do it in a way that’s actually going to save money, not cost more.”

Mr Jones said public policy and services to the public had paid the price under the Coalition.

“Good people leave to find more secure work, while we lose critical institutional knowledge,” he said.

“For the public, it means longer wait times, less reliable support, and it’s costly to taxpayers.

“We are committed to building policy capacity, while saving taxpayer dollars.”

The Australian Tax Office’s ability to crack down on multinational tax avoidance and the shadow economy will be boosted with 1248 new staff.

In its first budget in October, the Albanese government announced that a crackdown on the shadow economy, small business and multinational firms would net the federal budget an extra $4.7 billion over four years.

Mr Jones said an additional $36 million to accelerate visa processing was allowing the Department of Home Affairs to recruit 500 staff members to boost processing capacity and resolve the visa backlog.

He pointed to chronic delays in claims being processed at the Veterans’ Affairs Department, saying previous attempts to increase capacity had resulted in more than 60 per cent of the workforce either outsourced or non-ongoing.

Mr Jones said 412 new Veterans’ Affairs staff were being…

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