INDEPENDENT NEWS

‘Cuts In Context’ Report Launch And Visual Display At Parliament Today

Published: Fri 24 May 2024 11:39 AM
The Taxpayers’ Union is today launching a new report, Cuts in Context: Putting Public Service Savings into Perspective alongside a visual display at Parliament highlighting the scale of growth in the Public Service since 2017.
Cuts in Context reveals the Government’s proposed cuts to the Public Service departments do not nearly go far enough to rewind the massive staffing increases under the previous Government.Report launch details:
Location: Parliament Banquet Hall
Time: 3pm
Taxpayers’ Union Campaigns Manager, Connor Molloy, will be available for media comment.Key findings of the report:The number of public servants since 2017 has grown by over 18,000, or 39% – nearly twice as quickly as the rest of the public sector, and at four times the rate of the New Zealand population.The median public servant now earns $84,800, nearly 30% more than New Zealand’s median worker.This has caused the Public Service’s wage bill to skyrocket to well over $6 billion. Had the number of public servants increased in in line with the New Zealand population, taxpayers would have saved around $1.2 billion in 2022/23.Key recommendations:As a bare minimum, the Government must reduce the size of the Public Service back to what it was in 2017. However it should aim to go further for departments that still have more savings to be made.Going forward, the Public Service should only grow in line with population demands. However, non-customer-facing departments will likely not need to grow as quickly as this.Ministers, not chief executives, should be the one’s managing how these cuts are made, and in what areas of the department.
Commenting on the release of the 2023 'Cuts in Context' report, Taxpayers’ Union Campaigns Manager, Connor Molloy, said:
"Taxpayers are being shafted more and more every year for an increasingly dysfunctional Public Service that is not delivering the core services New Zealanders expect. The average worker battling the cost of living is right to be frustrated that, despite the additional $49/week they are paying in income tax compared with someone on the same real income in 2010, the Public Service has very little to show in terms of improved outcomes.
“The ballooning bureaucracy is contributing to New Zealand’s skyrocketing Government debt, now at more than $90,000 per household. It’s time to go through staffing budgets line-by-line to right-size the public service, even looking to close departments entirely which don’t give sufficient bang for the taxpayers’ buck.
“We cannot continue down the path of taxpayers paying more but getting less. Public Service cuts are part of that equation, and getting staffing numbers back to 2017 levels would be a good start towards meaningful savings. As it stands, even after the Government’s proposed cuts, the Public Service is set to be more bloated than it was just a year ago. Nicola Willis must go further.”

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