A former Katherine school teacher says a "ridiculous" attempt to save money from the NT Budget by removing rental subsidies for Katherine teachers was not worth the upset.
The teacher, who did not want to be named, said she was one of many who chose to leave Katherine during the rental subsidy drama.
"To us, it just showed how little they cared about what we doing, and the sacrifices people made to relocate to Katherine."
In reports lodged in the NT Parliament this week, they showed Territory's net debt reached $5.7 billion last financial year.
According to another report, the number of public servants has grown by more than 400 over the past years.
A hiring freeze was supposed to be one of the "budget repair measures" introduced by the Government.
In the Education Department's annual report it includes this brief statement under "budget repair measures".
"The NT Government implemented budget repair measures during 2019-20 as part of its fiscal strategy to return the Northern Territory's budget to balance," the report states.
" In line with this direction, the department completed the following budget repair measures".
Among the few measures named was ... "identified ongoing savings by changing the provision of head-leasing housing to employees in Katherine, which is expected to save $0.5 million per year once fully implemented".
The subsidy, said to be worth about $2 million, was introduced after Katherine was identified as one of the hardest places in the NT to recruit teachers to.
Of about 300 education staff in Katherine, the department last year said it "was looking at" 94 education staff, including principals, who receive the subsidy, or about a third.
After the upset that caused, the department decided on a single year's doubling of the relocation allowance for new teachers to Katherine.
It was agreed to initially double a relocation allowance for Katherine teachers in 2020, as part of what it says is an ongoing review into the region's teacher housing subsidy scheme.
Allowances for single teachers wanting to relocate would rise from about $5000 to $10,000 next year, reducing in 2021 to return to current levels in 2022.
There was no obvious information in the annual report on how much money had been saved from the measure.
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