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New billboards show stark choice on services

2 September 2005

New billboards spell out stark choice on public services

The Public Service Association (PSA) is erecting billboards in Auckland and Wellington today warning voters that tax cuts will lead to cuts to essential public services.

Tax has emerged as a key election, with the National Party promising to pay for lower tax rates by slashing public services.

PSA National Secretary Brenda Pilott said the new billboards remind voters that lower taxes will mean cuts to essential public services.

“Our billboards remind voters that public servants are not just the Wellington-bound bureaucrats National would have voters believe.

“The vast majority of public servants are active in every local community working as nurses, work brokers, prison officers, scientists, fishery inspectors, broadcasters, librarians, road engineers, export advisors, teachers, ACC case managers, building inspectors, conservation rangers, probation officers, social workers, occupational therapists, meat inspectors, home carers, customs officers, civil defence staff . . . and many other occupations.

“New Zealand’s public service is lean and efficient, smaller than in most other developed nations and currently employs less staff than a decade ago.

“Perhaps most disturbing about National’s slash-public-services-to-pay-for-tax-cuts-plan is that it simply doesn’t add up.

“The growth that has taken place in public services over the past six years has predominantly occurred on the front-line in organisations such as Child, Youth and Family, the prisons service and in protecting our borders. No future government would be prepared to weather the electoral fallout that would accrue if these services had to be slashed back and families, communities and businesses could no longer rely on them.

“Public services are keeping New Zealand going. We say any sensible government would want to keep improving the public services we all use, not slash them to fund tax cuts.”

Brenda Pilott said the PSA was also supporting billboards being erected by the Council of Trade Unions about employment policies.

“The tax issue is obscuring other important policies which would have a serious impact on working people if implemented. Working people deserve their fair share of our growing economy. National seems to be in some kind of 1990s timewarp with its plans to weaken health and safety regulations, attack unions, scrap the fourth week of holidays, privatise ACC and freeze the minimum wage,” Brenda Pilott said.

ENDS

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