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Consultant spend soars as cutbacks continue

State Services Spokesperson

5 December 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT

Consultant spend soars as cutbacks continue

Official figures reveal that Treasury’s spending on consultants has increased by a “gob-smacking’” 1014 per cent over five years, Labour’s State Service spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

The figures, in responses to the supplementary estimates questions, show that Treasury spent $1.968 million on consultants in the 2007/200 year and is expected to spend an estimated $21.927m in 2012/13 – an increase of $19.959m, or 1014 per cent.
“On the one hand Treasury is saying the figure is so high because $17m is being spent in 2012/13 on consultants for the asset sale programme. On the other it admits the $21.927m estimate could be on the low side.
“The fact is, the money is being spent. Even excluding the $17m Treasury has more than doubled its spend on consultants since National took office.

“Unfortunately it’s not surprising. When you have a Government determined to slash budgets across the state sector and in the process lay off staff, it is inevitable departments will find themselves in the position of being forced to use consultants and contractors.

“This isn’t about value for money. We know that former staff are being re-hired as external consultants at a much greater cost to taxpayers.

“Labour is all for greater efficiency and achieving outcomes in the public service, but what we are seeing now is a Government that favours buying in skills rather than keeping them in-house.



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