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Weak Minister Should Step Aside

Thursday 19 April

Weak Minister Should Step Aside

The Minister of Social Services has been treated with contempt by his colleagues and should now resign.

Papers released today show that when the cabinet decided to amalgamate the Ministry of Social Policy with the Department of Work and Income the Minister knew that the decision was wrong, but he was over-ruled by his cabinet colleagues.

His opposition to the restructuring was supported by advice from the State Services Commissioner, Retired State Services Commissioner Don Hunn, Retired Judge Mick Brown, and all of the briefing papers that he received when he was first appointed. There was no departmental advice favouring this restructuring.

In spite of him having all of the evidence in his favour Maharey still could not stop his colleagues from restructuring his department under him.

He is now left responsible for a structure he knows to be wrong, and his colleagues have treated him with contempt.

It is now evident that he did not even know what was planned for his department because his colleagues did not bother to tell him.

How can the community now have any faith in his ability to act on the important Mick Brown Report into Child Youth and Family Services, when he is clearly in a very weak position?

If the Minister is seriously committed to advancing the needs of children and social policy he should now step aside in favour of someone who can win a debate with his colleagues.

ENDS

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