National’s agenda for the public service revealed
5 September 2008
National’s real agenda for the public service revealed
The release of a National Party billboard today calling for ‘less bureaucrats’ is a clear indication that they intend to use public servants as a political tool in the election campaign, Grant Robertson the Labour Candidate for Wellington Central said.
“Once again National is going to play politics with the public service. John Key has been on for several years about wanting to slash the number of public servants as a way of paying for tax cuts for the wealthy. This billboard shows that agenda is alive and well”, Grant said.
“Recently National candidates in Wellington have been tying themselves in knots trying to explain their party’s position on public services, and have claimed that there will not be job losses. Yet today we see the message National wants the rest of the country to hear is that there will be less (or should that be fewer?) public servants. They can’t have it both ways”.
“Even using the term ‘bureaucrat’ indicates the attitude of National towards public servants. The public servants I meet in Wellington Central work hard for the government of the day, whoever it is. They deserve far better than National’s call for a ‘bureaucratic bonfire’
“Labour has invested significantly in public services over the last nine years. As well as increasing the numbers of teachers, nurses, social workers, prison officers and the like, we have invested in the support staff and policy people that are the engine room of the public sector.”
“There is always room for services to be more efficient and closer to the communities they serve, but the way to do that is not to make political capital out of hard-working public servants”, Grant said.