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Welfare admin costs balloon

Judith Collins MP
National Party Welfare Spokeswoman

22 October 2008

Welfare admin costs balloon despite fewer beneficiaries

New Zealand may have had record employment in recent times, but the cost for administration at the Ministry of Social Development has ballooned, says National Party Welfare spokeswoman Judith Collins.

According to the just-released 2007/08 MSD Annual Report, personnel costs were $591,492,000 - up from $556,846,000 in 2006/07.

MSD also spent $21.1 million on consultants and contractors in the year ending 30 June 2008.

For example, $26,149 was spent on a report entitled 'Leading for Outcomes", another $51,054 on 'Practicing for Outcomes', and $48,852 for a 'Concept Document' relating to regional understanding.

MSD staff travel cost taxpayers $9.1 million and the Ministry also spent a further $12 million on professional fees.

Even allowing for the absorption of CYF and Youth Development, staff numbers have still increased by 28% in just five years.

"Taxpayers are entitled to ask why administration costs at MSD have spiked to record highs despite fewer beneficiaries. Questions also need to be asked about this department's ability to contain its costs now that benefit numbers are on the way up," says Mrs Collins.

ENDS

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