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NZers will remember last time National slashed

NZers will remember last time National slashed the public service

National’s promise to slash the public service to fund tax cuts will evoke strong memories for voters of a failing and seriously over-stretched state sector inherited by the incoming government in 1999, says the Public Service Association (PSA).

PSA National Secretary Brenda Pilott says it hard to take seriously the comments on radio this morning by National’s finance spokesperson John Key.

“During the 1990s the last National government tried slashing the public service and the resulting chaos was a major factor in its defeat. This was the time when student allowance processing fell over, counting votes at the 1999 general election took a whole night and the leaky buildings problem grew up, amongst many other problems.

“Those memories will still be top of mind for voters come this election.

“The considerably enhanced performance of departments over the past five years has been possible because the new government has made rebuilding the public sector and making public services responsive to the needs of New Zealanders a priority.

“This has required both new staff and more resources, but is National seriously suggesting that the additional conservation rangers, social workers and prison officers, for example, should be sacked? National needs to get specific about which jobs and which departments it is targeting.

“Far from cut backs there is a need for more investment to meet growing demand for public services and to ensure the public service is able to attract talented people to do the jobs.

“The PSA will be seeking specific commitments from political parties this election about how they will support quality public services and we intend sharing this information with our members and the voting public,” Brenda Pilott said.


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