Nats: cut services and swell dole queue

Press Release – Public Service Association

The National Party’s public services policy, announced today, has flagged further cuts that will stretch public services to breaking point, says the PSA, the public sector union.

/ PSA Media Release 18 Nov 2011 PSA MEDIA RELEASE For Immediate Use National’s vision for public services – cut services and swell the dole queue

The National Party’s public services policy, announced today, has flagged further cuts that will stretch public services to breaking point, says the PSA, the public sector union.

“Public services are already stretched with the loss of over 5000 jobs in the past two and half years,” says Richard Wagstaff, PSA National Secretary.

“State Services Minister Tony Ryall said today that he’s not ruling out further cuts. That will almost certainly result in loss of services.

“There is a limit to doing more with less. National is claiming that it will increase frontline staff while cutting back- office positions. However, many of the roles they’re including in the so-called “back-office” count are actually frontline ones that New Zealanders rely on such as health and safety inspectors, fisheries officers, biosecurity and border control, even the staff of the Canterbury Recovery Authority.

“New Zealand has one of the most efficient and cost effective public services in the world. What National’s proposing will erode that and could even put lives at risk. Evidence heard by the Royal Commission of Inquiry shows that health and safety is an example of one area that must not be compromised.

“As National acknowledges, the responses to the Canterbury earthquakes ‘has shown the public service at its very best’. You can’t keep cutting staff and expect that level of service to continue.

“The government says it wants to lift confidence in the public service, but cutting more staff and services will take us back to the ‘90’s when confidence in public services was at an all-time low.

“It’s a myth that New Zealand has an “over-sized public sector”. International comparisons show it’s small and effective. In the 1980s there was one public servant for every 38 New Zealanders. Now there is one for every 94 New Zealanders,” says Richard Wagstaff. ENDS

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