Government’s Blunt Approach To Public Service Cuts Laid Bare In Last Productivity Commission Report

Published: Tue 20 Feb 2024 11:48 AM
As it embarks on a deep and widespread attack on the public service, the Government should heed warnings in the last Productivity Commission report about the impacts of layoffs on workers and families.
The report deals with the impacts of economic shocks on the economy, pointing out that ‘earnings of workers who find new employment take almost three years to return to pre-layoff levels.’
"Right now, the public service is bracing for its own shock without the Government having worked out the consequences of taking its blunt axe to departments and agencies," said Duane Leo, National Secretary for the Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi, Aotearoa.
"As the shape of the cost cutting plans become clearer, we are deeply concerned at the consequences for workers and their families.
"This Government appears blind to the impact on people and the economy in its zealous drive to find money to fund tax cuts for higher income earners and landlords.
"Coupled this with its attack on workers by scrapping Fair Pay Agreements, re-introducing 90 day trials, reducing the real minimum wage, and cutting the real value of benefits, and it’s hard not to draw the conclusion that this Government is mean and out of touch.
"It really has no vision as to how to build, a strong, resilient economy."
The report shows New Zealand is vulnerable to economic shocks like a sharp oil price rise or trade war with Asia, our major trading bloc.
"We need to be planning for the long term and build the kind of agile, innovative and productive economy that can sustain shocks.
"Instead, the Government’s first acts involved abolishing the Productivity Commission which helps us plan for the future and cut the public service. Now more than ever we need a strong and well-resourced public service to deal with our challenges, and support workers and industry," said Duane Leo.
The Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi is Aotearoa New Zealand's largest trade union, representing and supporting more than 90,000 workers across central government, state-owned enterprises, local councils, health boards and community groups.

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