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Dyson turns blind eye to bureaucracy blowout

Judith Collins MP
National Party Welfare Spokeswoman

18 June 2008

Dyson turns blind eye to bureaucracy blowout

Social Development Minister Ruth Dyson should explain why she’s allowed the number of bureaucrats in her Wellington ministry to continue to grow while critical frontline staff are leaving in droves, says National’s Welfare spokeswoman, Judith Collins.

“The Minister’s officials made some startling revelations at the Social Services Select Committee this morning. It is not enough for Ms Dyson to listen to how her ministry still hasn’t got its priorities right and continues to waste taxpayer money, without offering an explanation as to why she continues to turn a blind eye.”

Ms Collins says the committee was told that MSD now employs 61.5 media, communications and public relations staff, up from 54 last year and almost three times more than the number of staff employed in 2001.

In addition, policy staff have increased from 200 in 2002 to 350 today. It was also disclosed that the Ministry of Social Development spends a whopping $50 million a year on policy advice.

“At the same time, there has been a loss of 450 case managers, meaning critical frontline staff are leaving while the Wellington-based bureaucracy continues to surge.

“How can Ruth Dyson sit back and let this happen? Her own ministry has been advised that the rate of unemployment is forecast to rise as the economy slows, meaning it is even more crucial to retain hands-on, frontline staff.

“She is setting a bad example by doing nothing to address her ministry’s refusal to re-prioritise its spending and service commitments.

“Her tolerance for this attitude, which permeates MSD, is inexcusable.”


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