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Good for the goose…?

Written By: - Date published: 9:10 am, March 21st, 2012 - 7 comments
Categories: bill english, education, treasury - Tags:

Treasury has repeatedly proven itself incapable of forecasting its way out of a paper bag but, for some reason, that doesn’t stop it trying to tell everyone else how to do their jobs. Currently, they’re pushing for larger class sizes in the reduced education budget. Someone should ask why the education budget is under pressure but Treasury’s isn’t. Wait, someone did.

Chris Hipkins: Has the Minister seen reports that Treasury, which has no front-line staff, has increased its staff numbers by over 13 percent in the last 3 years and that the number of staff earning over $100,000 at Treasury has increased by 8 percent, and that in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, which, coincidentally, also has no front-line staff, personnel costs have increased by over 13 percent and the department had an $800,000 budget blowout? And why is it that his department and the Prime Minister’s department are growing fatter while the rest of the Public Service, which provides genuine front-line public services, is having its funding cut?

Hon BILL ENGLISH: The member’s last statement is wrong. I could point out to him that Treasury and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet have overseen a fairly significant event called the Christchurch earthquake, which has required the deployment of $9.5 billion of public money. If Treasury has been able to supervise that with the addition of a few staff, then it is doing an extremely good job.

Uh, huh. So Treasury and DPMC need extra staff because of the earthquakes but actual frontline public services can handle cuts. Sounds like Bill English has been sipping on that Treasury kool-aid again.

Of course, we know that English will always have a blank cheque ready for Treasury. The ‘farmer from Dipton’s only job before entering Parliament was as a Treasury analyst.

7 comments on “Good for the goose…? ”

  1. Jenny 1

    Don Brash when he was head of Treasury, also used the position to formulate government political policy. Indeed, most of the policy of the Lange/Douglas regime could be traced to advice from Treasury head Don Brash. People used to say, why do we bother to vote in elections, we might as well just vote for Treasury to run the country.

  2. DH 2

    The insufferable arrogance of economists really does know no bounds. The head of Treasury Gabriel Makhlouf is a recent import and he has the gall to meddle with our education system and criticise teachers. What the hell would he know about it, he’s only been here a few years.

    What is it with all this teacher bashing anyway? I know a few teachers & they’re all getting sick of it.

  3. ianmac 3

    The trouble is that the formula used for pupil/teacher ratios is misleading. It is somewhere around 18:1 but that translates into the classroom to be about 28-30 kids per teacher, especially in older Primary Classes.
    Techniques for managing bigger classes includes being unable to deal as well for very bright or underachievers.
    Smaller classes, like 1:24, with different techniques gives a much better chance at quality feed back.
    And the advice given to the Government was that smaller classes were not as important as say quality feedback to pupils and enthusiastic well supported teachers.
    It did not mean that bigger classes made no difference.

  4. tc 4

    the old joke comes to mind
    ‘if you placed all the economists in the world end to end, they still wouldn’t reach a conclusion’

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      It may be a joke but we do have to consider the simple fact that it’s accurate. So, why can’t economists reach a conclusion? Answer: Because their theory is based upon false assumptions.

      • Rodel 4.1.1

        Nah..Who was it said, “God invented economists..to make meteorologists look good..?

        The proposed increase in class sizes is on the government’s agenda as more kids become digitized all with cheaper IT devices, classes up to 50? and less of those expensive teacher things.

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