NSW Police expenses in focus

NSW Police Force employee-related expenses fell by about $320 million between 2015-2016 and 2016-2017, its annual report shows.

Workers’ compensation and long service leave were among the items where significant falls were recorded.

The statistics were not to say the payments were not made available, but rather there were fewer claims, the office of NSW Police Minister – and Dubbo MP – Troy Grant says.

On Wednesday a spokesperson for the minister highlighted them and other employee-related expenses as key to the issue of spending on police.

The latest Productivity Commission report recorded real recurrent expenditure on police in NSW falling by $483.4 million in 2016-17.

The Police Minister’s office contests the details in the NSW Police Force’s annual report are important.

It shows that between the two budgets, workers compensation claims fell by nearly $200 million.

Long service leave also fell by nearly $110 million, from $170 million to $60.2 million.

The Death and Disability self-insurance scheme fell by about $1 million, while fringe benefits tax also fell by about $6 million.

“These statistics are not to say these payments weren’t made available – rather, there were fewer claims,” a spokesperson for Mr Grant said.

“This is proof the government’s record investment in police mental health and wellbeing (nearly $20 million) is working – with fewer claims, and more police back at work.”

The Productivity Commission also deducts “revenue from own sources” from its calculation of expenditure. As such, the amount referred to as expenditure in the report understates the actual level of expenditure on police, the spokesperson said.

“Between the two years, there was a $132 million increase in ‘revenue’ which related to favourable accounting adjustments concerning workers’ compensation insurance and the death and disability scheme,” the spokesperson said.

“This artificially reduces the total of ‘expenditure’ within the report by that amount.”