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State Service report nothing to be proud of

11 November 2009
Media Statement

State Service report nothing to be proud of


Labour’s State Services spokesperson Grant Robertson says New Zealanders should be worried about the quality of public services they receive as a result of National’s indiscriminate public sector cuts.

“The stock take report of staffing in the public service released today shows fewer staff in Government departments are being asked to do more. This inevitably leads to poorer services for ordinary New Zealanders,” Grant Robertson said.

“Everyone in the public service is working to find efficiencies but the kind of pressures that are being placed on frontline services by National’s cuts are beginning to bite.

“The figures released today highlight reductions in staffing in areas such as the Prison Service, Child Youth and Family, Conservation and Biosecurity. Most Kiwis would regard these as frontline services, important to their quality of life.”

Grant Robertson says with unemployment now at 150,000 the Government needs to take some responsibility.

“Through their cuts to the public service National has made many of those Kiwis jobless. So much for John Key’s promise to cap and not cut public service staff levels,” Grant Robertson said.

“State Services Minister Tony Ryall has been given the task of breaking that promise and sadly he seems to be succeeding. Unfortunately the price is that Kiwis get public services that will not deliver what they expect and deserve.

“With this report Mr Ryall has continued his pattern of playing fast and loose with numbers.

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“He’s cut and pasted data from two different sources to try to prove how tough he is with the public service. This pattern started with Mr Ryall inventing a definition of the core Government administration that leaves out important parts of the public sector.

“The mounting pressure on the public service is evident by the industrial action being taken by Ministry of Justice staff, Parliamentary Security staff and likely action by other Government workers.

“National’s cuts are costing jobs and lowering the quality public services Kiwis expect and deserve.”

ENDS

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