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Public servants and salaries swell under Labour

Public servants and salaries swell under Labour

ACT Deputy Leader and Social Services spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today exposed the fact that under Labour's stewardship the era of big government is here to stay with a bureaucracy that is burgeoning on the back of taxpayer surpluses.

Dr Newman released figures today showing that the number of people working in the public service has grown by 23 percent from 30,702 in June 1999 to 37,865 in June 2004.

"Judy Bailey's pay rise pales in comparison when we compare the extra millions being spent on the thousands of additional public servants under Labour. This is no lean and mean machine. Big government is alive and well as is the culture of extravagance with many public servants earning very fat salaries.

Among the government department staff increases included Agriculture and Forestry up from 1,004 to 1,384 staff ( 38%); Corrections up from 3,840 to 4,815 ( 25%); Culture and Heritage up from 11 to 74 ( 573%); Education up from 611 to 3,256 ( 433%); Environment up from 103 to 224 ( 117%); Health up from 480 to 1,119 ( 133%); Justice up from 144 to 2,472 (1,505%); Labour Department up from 808 to 1,350 (67%); and Pacific Island Affairs up from 29 to 53 (83%).

As well as the largess in numbers, Dr Newman said salaries have also skyrocketed.

"Let's look at just one: The Ministry of Maori Affairs, Te Puni Kokiri, has seen the number of staff paid over $100,000 double under Labour. While there were no staff earning over $160,000 in November 1999, now six do. What's more, two earn over $200,000.

Other government agencies have also seen large increases in the number of staff paid over $100,000. The Ministry of Transport, up from 5 staff to 17 ( 240%); State Services Commission from 7 to 40 ( 471%); Department of Internal Affairs up from 18 to 49 ( 172%); Ministry of Economic Development from 19 to 60 ( 216%); and Department of Corrections from 11 to 59 ( 435%).

"All this extravagance comes at a time when hardworking New Zealanders rightly believe they deserve a share of the surplus they have created through tax cuts.

"New Zealanders expect their money to be better spent than on building a burgeoning bureaucracy which, despite all the extra cash and people, is not delivering better outcomes. We still have too many kids that can't read, growing hospital waiting lists, and too many people trapped on welfare," said Dr Newman.

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