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So what is the “front line” Minister?

So what is the “front line” Minister?

State Services Minister Tony Ryall has today confessed that the Government still does not have a clear definition of what constitutes the public service “front line”, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Grant Robertson said today.

“Under questioning in Parliament’s Finance and Expenditure Select Committee today Tony Ryall, after 18 months as a Minister could not tell MPs what the definition was for ‘front line’ public services,” Grant Robertson said.

“The whole drive and spin of National’s cuts to public services has been to move resources from ‘the back office to the front line’ but what is clear is that behind the Government‘s smoke and mirrors the quality of public services is suffering.

"The Government claims more resources are going to the frontline, but we have seen cuts to biosecurity staff at the border, CYFS staff, the school library services, regional fisheries offices and now the ACC. These are all frontline services that people across New Zealand rely on.

“Kiwis are being affected by this uncertainty and morale in the in the public sector is plummeting. A recent survey found just 27 percent of Ministry of Health and 34 percent of State Services Commission staff were happy in their jobs.

“The Government has broken its promise to cap, not cut public service levels. That push has put massive pressure on front line workers and the services they are able to offer.

“National is gutting back office jobs and those responsibilities are now falling to the doctors, nurses, teachers and enforcement officers who should be helping Kiwis not doing more paperwork.

“Tony Ryall’s admission today shows that National's state sector policy is based on pure spin, and how Kiwis are suffering as a result,” Grant Robertson said.

ENDS


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