• Posted on: 11/09/2023
  • 2 minutes to read

The PSA is concerned about the likely size of the cuts to public services National will have to make to help fund its tax proposal.

The likely scale of the cuts was revealed in an analysis of National’s plans to help fund its tax policy, released today by the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions (NZCTU).

In its Tax Policy, National says it will need to save $594 million on average per year in spending on what it calls "back-office" functions in government departments to help pay for its tax cuts.

"However, the analysis of National’s proposed public service cuts shows that billions of dollars in funding for "front line" public services would be in scope for cuts," says Duane Leo National Secretary for the Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi.

"National is spinning the line that it can make big savings every year without impacting on public services. The NZCTU analysis shows this assertion to be questionable," Mr Leo says.

"The reality is that to help pay for its tax cuts, National will need to slash vital spending that backs businesses to thrive; deals with long-term challenges like climate change; and supports New Zealanders, including our most vulnerable."

Mr Leo says funding in scope for cuts includes services provided by:

  • The Courts system, which is already facing high demand for its services
  • The Department of Conservation, which safeguards our much-loved iconic species
  • The Department of Internal Affairs, which investigates cyber security threats and scams, and issues passports
  • The Ministry of Social Development, which supports people doing it tough
  • The Ministry for Primary Industries, which works to keep pest species and animal diseases out of the country
  • The New Zealand Customs Service, which is protecting our borders
  • The Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment, which drives economic growth
  • The Ministry for the Environment, which is focused on dealing with climate change and pollution.

National’s figures also rely on a false distinction between "frontline" and "back office" public services, Mr Leo says.

"All parts of the public service work together to provide services for people and keep Aotearoa working - whether it’s a policy advisor helping politicians made good decisions, or a border protection worker ensuring no biosecurity threats make it into our environment.

"People delivering frontline services could not do their job without the support of their colleagues who work behind the scenes," Mr Leo says.

Hear National Secretary Duane Leo interviewed on Waatea News about the PSA’s concerns over public service cuts

Check out Newshub’s coverage of the issue

Read the NZCTU media release