Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Keeping the Squeeze on Government Expenditure

Keeping the Squeeze on Government Expenditure

Statement made by Adrian Wimmers, Partner, KPMG

Today’s Budget signifies a further step in the Government’s ‘sinking-lid’ approach to stemming a decade long trend of government expenditure increasing relative to GDP.

The Government’s stated agenda is to shift New Zealand’s economic focus to savings, productive investment and exports. An area of focus of this budget is to tighten the squeeze on low productivity, core government expenditure and return this expenditure to investment on high priority frontline services, infrastructure or to reducing deficits.

In doing this the government intends to release resources to the productive sectors and so increase New Zealand’s capacity for sustained economic growth.

In this Government’s two previous Budgets, public sector expenditure was, in the main, tackled through pressure on departmental expenditure, in essence the cost of running the Wellington bureaucracy. In particular the Government focused on reducing costs in the ‘back office’ – roughly 10 per cent of departmental spend – and redirecting savings to frontline services such as the police, nurses and teachers. This focus continues.

Government departments are expected to find a further $980m over three years once they absorb the impact of staff retirement scheme costs, previously funded centrally. The Government has also signalled that further negotiation of savings targets will follow after the Budget.

It is clear that the expectation of further value for money savings won’t disappear under this Government. This means more services and better advice with fewer resources. To achieve this, Government departments will need to focus on new ways to use their resources more efficiently and effectively – from the back office right up to the front line.

Many departments have yet to grasp this particular nettle with both hands. Savings to date have generally represented the ‘low hanging fruit’ rather than smarter changes such as fundamentally rethinking business processes and service delivery models.

Budget 2011 has signalled that the Government expects officials to achieve harder-to-get savings on top of the easier ones already delivered. The challenge they face is that long-term improvement, whether delivered through a merger or a new IT system, requires investment to realise the gains.

This creates an immediate conundrum for the Government. Smarter delivery of public services has an up-front price that will need to be found within the reduced government spending track announced today.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Housing Issues: Fairer Rules For Tenants And Landlords

The key changes include:

- Limit rent increases to once every 12 months and banning the solicitation of rental bids by landlords.

- Improve tenant’s security by removing a landlord’s right to use no cause terminations to end a periodic tenancy agreement...

- Improve compliance with the law by increasing financial penalties and introducing new tools to take direct action against parties who are not meeting their obligations. More>>

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On The Farming Sector’s Persecution Complex

The narrative that our farmers are ‘doing it tough’ plays into a number of wellworn stereotypes ... More>>

ALSO:

corrections, prisonCorrections: Independent Review Of Prisoner Mail Management

The independent review into the prisoner mail system has today been released, with Corrections accepting all 13 recommendations and making a number of changes to strengthen the management of prisoner mail. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA: Unlawful Detention Of Teenager; Influence Of Investigation

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that former Inspector Hurimoana Dennis unlawfully detained an Auckland teenager in 2015, and improperly influenced the outcome of a criminal investigation into his own son in 2014. More>>

ALSO:

SOP For Gun Bill: New Measures For Modified Pistols

The new controls will • Prohibit short-barrelled semi-automatic rifles which currently are defined as pistols because they are shorter than 762 millimetres. • Introduce tighter controls over pistol carbine conversion kits… • Prohibit firearms which contain a part known as a centrefire lower receiver… More>>

'Culturally Arranged Visitors Visa': Fix For Marriage Visa Issue

Earlier this year Immigration New Zealand issued guidance to front line Immigration staff that made it significantly harder for people to get visas to visit their partner. That guidance no longer applies with today’s announcement. More>>

ALSO:

Conflict Of Interest For Key Member: Budget Data Breach Investigation Shut Down

State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes has today terminated the investigation into how Budget-sensitive material was accessed at the Treasury and appointed a new inquirer. More>>

RNZ Report: Mysterious Foundation Loaning NZ First Money

A mysterious foundation that loans money to New Zealand First is under scrutiny, with a university law professor saying although it's lawful, it fails to provide the transparency voters need in a democracy. More>>

Justice: Criminal Cases Review Commission Established

“We’ve seen how our justice system can very occasionally get things spectacularly wrong, even with rights of appeals, and there needs to be a chance for the innocent on the right grounds to seek a final review of their case...” More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels