More Novopay debacles likely as Govt slashes frontline
State Services Spokesperson
More Novopay debacles likely as
Govt slashes frontline public services
frontline public services in order to force Kiwis to
interact with the Government online will lead to more
Novopay like debacles, warns Labour's State Services
spokesperson Chris Hipkins.
"National promised New
Zealanders better frontline public services. Now there’s
talk they're going to 'switch off' frontline services to
achieve their arbitrary target of having 70 per cent of
common transactions completed online. That makes a mockery
of their promise.
"This is yet another demonstration that
National's pledge to move resources from the 'back office'
to the 'frontline' was hollow spin.
"For a lot of people,
online options are fast and convenient, and when they're
available, they will use them. But that's not the case for
everyone. Some of those most in need of help, including the
elderly, don't have ready access to online services.
the Government's online options are good, people will choose
them voluntarily without being forced into it by a wholesale
slashing of alternative options.
"We also need to be
mindful of the risks involved in online services. When
things go wrong, people still need to be able to talk to a
real person. Yet the Government's help desk hotlines already
have appalling track records.
"Let's not forget the
debacle at Housing New Zealand when they tried to make
everyone go online or ring a call centre. Or the on-going
shambles caused by the new online pay system for teachers
"National's rhetoric speaks of better
public services. The reality of their actions is wholesale
cost-cutting regardless of the impact it has on everyday New
Zealanders," Chris Hipkins
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