Wage freezes dominate question time

''Do we prefer a pay pause or do we prefer more public service job cuts?'' Treasurer Peter Gutwein said in question time.

''Do we prefer a pay pause or do we prefer more public service job cuts?'' Treasurer Peter Gutwein said in question time.

WAGE FREEZE legislation again dominated question time in State Parliament this morning, ahead of debate on the bill this evening.

Labor and the Greens leveled three questions and plenty of heckling at the government over the effect of the controversial bill, which aims to halt public service pay increments for one year.

Questions on the topic were peppered with references to an ''appalling mess'' and ''half-baked legislation'', with both parties claiming the government had no Plan B if the legislation failed to pass into law.

But the Liberals again flipped the script on their political opponents, laying blame for the mooted wage freeze at their feet.

The government then offered itself up a question on the topic to highlight the $50 million and 500 jobs the legislation sets out to save.

''Do we prefer a pay pause or do we prefer more public service job cuts?'' Treasurer Peter Gutwein said.

''It's the choice we have to make, not the one we want to make.''

Greens MHA Nick McKim quizzed the Treasurer over why state service legal staff were exempt from the wage freeze bill, while the state's lowest paid public servants were caught in the cross hares.

''Why do you hate poor people, Peter?'' interjected Labor deputy leader Michelle O'Byrne. 

Her comment was later withdrawn.

Mr Gutwein said pausing statutory officials' pay could impede on the separation of powers, but would consider an amendment on the issue.

The Treasurer later added a twist on the long-running luxury taxi stoush, saying digging into past numbers unearthed some interesting outlays.

Mr Gutwein flagged a $200 limousine Opposition Leader Bryan Green caught in Melbourne during the Spring Racing Carnival, and a $215 limousine he caught from Melbourne Airport to the CBD earlier this year.

He said it was hypocritical of the Opposition to earlier slam the government's transport spending, but Labor said the claims were unfounded as no ministerial drivers were available interstate.

Greens leader Kim Booth rounded off Question Time by questioning the government over $7 million in Commonwealth cash earmarked for forest harvesters, saying the money would be better spent employing nurses.

But Premier Will Hodgman said he would stand behind the timber industry to ensure it got back on its feet.

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