Core government cap disappointing and disingenuous

The Public Service Association (PSA) says the Government’s continued focus on capping the size of core government administration is counter to providing New Zealanders with the services they need and depend on.

Basil Prestidge, PSA assistant national secretary, said “The cap is artificial in terms of reducing costs and promoting efficiencies within the public service.

“It’s a political game of smoke and mirrors that does a disservice to New Zealand citizens and has an extremely negative impact on the public service.

“The reality is the work of the public service still needs to be done, so government agencies are often forced to take measures such as hiring contractors or holding vacancies and expecting staff to take on additional work and responsibilities. These aren’t sustainable solutions. In the long run these workarounds reduce institutional capability, affect staff morale and, in the case of hiring contractors, can end up costing more money.

“The need for a cap seems particularly unwarranted since according to OECD figures New Zealand is ranked in the top four countries in the OECD for public sector efficiency. In addition, the number of people employed in the public services is small – 38 per cent smaller than the OECD average.

“Finally, we find the large number of redundancies, a total of 274, between 1 July and 31 December 2014, alarming and see this trend as completely counter to the Government’s focus on economic development and job creation,” said Mr Prestidge.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Basil Prestidge, PSA assistant national secretary

0274 306 013

Asher Goldman, PSA communications adviser

0276 005 498