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Stop Attacking Public Service Workers At A Time Of Crisis Mr Luxon

National Party Leader Christopher Luxon has again made it clear that the services New Zealanders rely on are under threat with his promise to reduce the size of the public service.

He told Morning Report today; ‘there will be a smaller public service’.

"Mr Luxon has again repeated the same old myths about the public service at a time when public service workers are doing the mahi to get the country through another crisis," said Kerry Davies, National Secretary of the Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi.

"Public service workers got New Zealand through COVID, they’re working hard again to support communities devastated by flooding and Cyclone Gabrielle.

"These types of statements have a real impact on the morale of people working in the public service and their families.

"We do agree with Mr Luxon on one point, he cites the need to use fewer consultants and 'build that capability in-house', but how is that possible when National plans to cut the public service?

"His numbers just don't add up. We say to Mr Luxon enough of the cheap slogans. It's time to support public service workers, and not use them as an easy political punching bag.

"The PSA laid out the facts to Deputy Leader Nicola Willis and Public Service spokesperson Simeon Brown in a meeting last month. Sadly, the facts are just being ignored in favour of making political capital.

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"Here are the simple facts:

New Zealand’s public service is proportionally the same size as the UK and Australia

New Zealand spends a lower percentage of GDP on public services than Australia and the UK

The public service is the same proportion of the broader public sector (14%) as it was in 2017

Since 2017 the public service has grown in the same proportion as the growth in New Zealand’s workforce

The public service has grown by 13,000 since 2017, around half was a response to COVID, the rest to support our growing population, and provide frontline services in critical areas like education, corrections, conservation and biosecurity

"Mr Luxon thinks he can deliver the same quality public services New Zealanders rely on with far fewer public service workers. It didn’t work in 2008 when National was last in government and New Zealanders paid the price as services were run down and we are still dealing with that legacy today.

"Today, our population has grown and our challenges as a nation are even greater. A strong public service does the hard thinking about our big problems ahead, like climate change.

"So, please explain Mr Luxon how we can continue to deal with our great challenges, help our economy prosper and support communities around the country with a smaller public service?" said Davies.

Attached: Public Service Snapshot 2022

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