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Look in the mirror, Max

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Max Bradford can't duck responsibility for the state of the public service by dumping on public servants, says Labour social welfare and employment spokesperson Steve Maharey.

"Public servants like those at Defence and Winz have been splashing out like private sector executives because that's what this government wanted. It told them to follow the private sector model so that's what they've done."

Mr Maharey was reacting to Mr Bradford's comments, reported in today's Evening Post, that the government faced "something deep inside the psyche of many public servants, that really suggests they are not looking for value for money."

"The extravagance at Winz and Defence is unacceptable, but public servants are behaving this way because they understood they were supposed to. Dumping on them like Mr Bradford has done is like telling your children to run wild then turning on them when the neighbours complain."

Mr Maharey said Labour would reassert the role of government as the owner of the public service rather than just a purchaser of services.

"A Labour government would take charge and say we don't want the public service to look and behave like this. We'll tell them to stop. It's really that simple."

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