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Health camps face closure as MSD spends on admin

Judith Collins MP
National Party Welfare Spokeswoman

23 October 2008

Health camps face closure as MSD spends up on admin

National Party Welfare spokeswoman Judith Collins says the cost for administration at the Ministry of Social Development keeps growing.

”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.”

According to the 2007/08 MSD Annual Report, released yesterday, 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.

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.

“Of course, this has come only days after children’s health camps announced they were facing closure unless they got an urgent $5 million injection to meet a funding shortfall.

“Labour spent four times that amount on MSD consultants alone.

“Only recently MSD also told a select committee that the department 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.

“Labour’s got its priorities all wrong.”

ENDS

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