The Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi is calling on National Leader Christopher Luxon to provide New Zealanders with clarity about the public services and jobs he intends to cut to fund his $3b plus tax cut package.
On the AM Show this morning Mr Luxon repeatedly claimed he could pay for tax cuts with public service cuts, citing 14,000 extra jobs in the public sector but refused to name the services and jobs he would axe.
"New Zealanders deserve to know what public services are on the line if National becomes government," said PSA National Secretary Kerry Davies.
"Most of the growth in FTEs over this period has been in the jobs that deliver services that improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders, provide support to businesses and cater for our growing population.
"Is Mr Luxon saying we need fewer corrections officers who keep our prisons secure? Is he saying we can do with fewer social workers who support our most vulnerable? Is he saying we should cut the number of scientists who protect New Zealand from bio-security threats?
"Mr Luxon says New Zealand needs to trust National. But to earn that trust, he needs to be upfront on the price of the tax cuts - who will bear the cost and what services will go as a result?
"New Zealand has one of the most trusted public service sectors in the world, and a public service broadly similar in size to the equivalent UK and Australian public sectors.
"This is a public sector delivering quality services to a growing population; one that saved lives and helped get New Zealand through the pandemic. Mr Luxon should consider those who worked so hard during the pandemic like:
- Border and MIQ workers
- Contact tracers
- Logistic experts, who made sure there were tests and vaccines available when and where they were needed
- People who made sure the wage subsidies got to small businesses
- Social workers who assisted people without homes into accommodation during the lockdown
- Health professionals who looked after us when we were sick
- IR staff, who deferred and forgave tax payments and debt.
"New Zealanders deserve transparency from National," said Kerry Davies.