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No Minister, bureaucrat numbers are out of control

Anne Tolley MP National Party Education Spokeswoman

13 July 2008

No Minister, the bureaucrat numbers are out of control

An attempt by Labour to fudge figures around their out-of-control bureaucracy has fallen over at the first analysis, says National's Education spokeswoman, Anne Tolley.

Associate Finance Minister Trevor Mallard has scoffed at a report by ANZ economist Cameron Bagrie that shows the increase in public spending on 'back office' bureaucracy was racing ahead of public spending on 'front office' spending.

"The Minister ranted at the assertion by Mr Bagrie that Education Ministry bureaucracy had ballooned, and called his analysis 'lightweight' because the economist did not take into account the shifting of Special Education Services into the ministry.

"Well, the only lightweight analysis has been Mr Mallard's.

"Even if we take every single Special Education Services staff member in the ministry out of the equation, the number of bureaucrats has at least doubled since Labour took office.

"Figures sourced from the Education and Science Select Committee estimates show that total Ministry of Education staff, less Special Education Services staff, grew from 608 in 1999 to 1,218 in 2007.

"National has long recognised the ever-increasing bureaucracy as an impediment to having more money available for frontline services. We have already identified capping the core bureaucracy as a priority.

"Trevor Mallard was Education Minister over much of this period and knows full well that the bureaucracy in the Education Ministry has been growing at the expense of teachers and funding.

"This is not acceptable while schools are crumbling and children are leaving school illiterate."


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