Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
License needed for work use Register

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


Report shows not much fat left on the bone after all

7 March 2012

Report shows not much fat left on the bone after all

A Treasury report on a public service cost-cutting exercise shows that costs have actually increased by $19 million, proof that there’s little left to squeeze out of agencies that have already been cut back to their core, says the PSA.

Last year Treasury believed that agencies could save up to $236 million from the back office functions of 33 departments, but overall costs have actually increased.

The administrative and support services benchmarking report shows that the biggest cost is in ICT which has increased to $980 million and as the Prime Minister has already indicated, is likely to escalate further.

“It’s clear Treasury was way wide of the mark,” says PSA National Secretary Richard Wagstaff.

“Government departments have already found considerable savings to meet targets, so it’s no surprise that the anticipated gains from this exercise have not been realised.

“Departments have seen big cuts to their administrative and support areas over several years.

“There’s little left to cut without hitting services directly and we are already seeing this with a reduction in frontline staff in Departments like IRD, DOC, ACC, MAF, Housing and MFAT.

“The report says there’s still huge potential for savings in some departments but this is an overly ambitious claim.

“Finance Minister Bill English trumpeted this cost-saving exercise in his Budget 2011 speech and expected it to produce the bulk of $330 million in efficiency gains. Clearly, he and Treasury were wrong and they need to rethink their approach. Otherwise, we risk cutting funding to the point where departments can’t function properly for New Zealanders.

“More than 3500 jobs have gone from the public service and crown entities and we’re seeing that impact on services to the public.

“It’s time the Government stopped using the public service as a smokescreen and focused on stimulating the economy if it wants to deliver on Bill English’s plan of being back in surplus by 2014/15,” says Richard Wagstaff.


Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On How Climate Change Threatens Cricket‘s Future

Well that didn’t last long, did it? Mere days after taking on what he called the “awesome responsibility” of being Prime Minister, Christopher Luxon has started blaming everyone else and complaining that he's inherited “economic vandalism on an unprecedented scale” - which is how most of us would describe his own coalition agreements, 100-Day Plan, and backdated $3 billion handout to landlords... More

Public Housing Futures: Christmas Comes Early For Landlords

New CTU analysis of the National & ACT coalition agreement has shown the cost of returning interest deductibility to landlords is an extra $900M on top of National’s original proposal. This is because it is going to be implemented earlier and faster, including retrospective rebates from April 2023. More

Green Party: Petition To Save Oil & Gas Ban

“The new Government’s plan to expand oil and gas exploration is as dangerous as it is unscientific. Whatever you think about the new government, there is simply no mandate to trash the climate. We need to come together to stop them,” says James Shaw. More

PSA: MFAT Must Reverse Decision To Remove Te Reo

MFAT's decision to remove te reo from correspondence before new Ministers are sworn in risks undermining the important progress the public sector has made in honouring te Tiriti. "We are very disappointed in what is a backward decision - it simply seems to be a Ministry bowing to the racist rhetoric we heard on the election campaign trail," says Marcia Puru. More




InfoPages News Channels


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.