CTU MEDIA RELEASE
10 July 2008
Stick to Banking – CTU tells Bank Economist
“It is not surprising that at the same time as ANZ National is moving to outsource “back room” staff overseas, it chooses to attack the Government’s success in rebuilding the dilapidated public services of the 1990s,” CTU President Helen Kelly said in response to ANZ National’s report criticising public spending on public services.
“Additionally worrying to any one relying on ANZ National for financial services is that the figures in this report appear to be wrong and show a miscalculation of education spending,” she said.
“Cameron Bagrie appears to have included in the total “backroom” spending by the Ministry of Education, money that is spent on hundreds of front line Special Education staff working directly with kids with disabilities and learning difficulties. The services of these staff were brought back into public provision after National effectively privatised them in the 1990s.”
“And secondly, percentages can mislead. There have been thousands of new teachers employed in our schools since 2000 and while in percentage terms this may not look as impressive as part of the big teaching workforce, it represents a significant investment in new education spending. It is not surprising in this blatantly political piece of work, Mr Bagrie has put a bad light on what is a fantastic achievement for New Zealand children.”
“We want a sophisticated debate in this election about the value of public services and believe it will be a defining point in the policies of the main political parties.”
"We are not surprised that a bank, that has shown variable consideration for the value of employing its own staff, has chosen the low road in this debate. To use our own quote from an American historical figure (Cameron Bagrie uses one in his report!) "This is pre-eminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly."