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Ministry Of Social Development Sheds 200 Workers, More Cuts To Come

The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) has told staff today there will be further job cuts after accepting voluntary redundancy applications from 200 workers.

Earlier this month MSD called for voluntary redundancies across parts of its Service Delivery teams at national and regional offices, its Māori Communities and Partnerships team, and its People and Capability, Policy, Strategy and Insights, Organisational Assurance and Communication functions as well as its Transformation group.

"As we said then, and as we say firmly now, reducing MSD’s workforce at a time of rising need as job losses are increasing and people are struggling with the cost of living and as our ageing population grows, is simply a reckless move," said Kerry Davies National Secretary for the Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi.

Today, MSD told staff to prepare for further job cuts in a proposal to be announced during the week of 20 May.

"Further downsizing of this important Ministry does not make sense. These are the very people who make the system work effectively for the hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who need the support that MSD provides.

"MSD is also targeting the Transformation Group for change, the team tasked with simplifying processes for New Zealanders accessing services they need to get by. Isn’t that the efficiency the Government wants?

"What the Government is forcing MSD and many other ministries to do, is to drain the oil out of the engine, and somehow still expect the machinery of government to run smoothly. This really is dumb stuff.

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"Today, the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance reacted to proposed cuts at the Customs Service frontline and to teams at Internal Affairs dealing with child exploitation and online scams and claimed frontline services will not be impacted.

"Frontline jobs going means frontline services will be impacted.

"Likewise, forcing MSD to shed 200 jobs, and make further cuts, will also impact the very real and much needed support MSD workers provide New Zealanders up and down the country.

"This Government is proving again how out of touch it is with the needs of New Zealanders to feel safe and secure, and to be supported by a well-resourced public service. Giving away billions of dollars in tax cuts for landlords and others should not be a priority," said Kerry Davies.

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