Government slashes ‘waste’

Written By: - Date published: 10:59 am, July 4th, 2008 - 34 comments
Categories: labour, national - Tags:

The Government’s new core benefit will see all beneficiaries given the same treatment and the same assistance to get into work if they are able. The changes will reduce monthly costs for both beneficiaries and MSD. The more efficient system will save $40 to $70 million a year (source: newsroom). A cheaper system that will help people into work more effectively. Of course, National opposes it.

So, the Government just made public sector $40 million plus more efficient. How’s that compare with the ‘waste’ National has identified and from which it still claims it fund its tax cuts? Let’s ask the ‘Waste-o-meter’.

It is becoming clear that National will not identify any significant ‘waste’ to cut, which raises the question what will they gut to fund their $3 billion plus tax cuts?

34 comments on “Government slashes ‘waste’”

  1. leftrightout 1

    Any guesses on how Crosby/Textor will spin this?

  2. Steve – From scoop.co.nz:

    “In the 1989 Budget, Labour announced plans to implement a new system based upon the concept of a generic benefit.

    Steve Maharey announced in July 2000 that the Government was working towards a single core benefit.

    Steve Maharey said in February 2002 (election year) that Labour wanted to introduce a universal benefit during its next term.

    In February 2005 (election year) Steve Maharey said legislation for a single core benefit would be introduced that year.”

    Hmm sounds like this might be an attempt at distracting from the very successful protest by the truckers this morning.

    BTW a quick spin through the other Google hits indicates that the Greens and beneficiary groups also have concerns about this policy.

  3. Byran. This policy was announced yesterday at the same time as MSD’s income report.

  4. Steve: So are you saying it hasn’t been announced during previous election years as claimed on Scoop?

  5. No Bryan. I’m saying it wasn’t announced because of the truck strike.

    And I don’t care if it’s taken a long time to develop. It’s going into action now.

  6. Matthew Pilott 6

    Bryan, you always link to interest website – perhaps your mate Bernard would like to put up a positive post about Labour’s latest achievement and how much money they’re saving! Probably not, huh?

    P.S. was anything in those ‘scoops’ incorrect? Was the government working towards it on 2000 (albeit slowly)? Was legislation introduced in 2005? Did Labour plan to introduce the benefit in their next term (after 2002, maybe meaning 2005-2008 term?), (which is what has happened)?

    Bit of a delay from ’89, agreed!

  7. Matthew: Nineteen years to action what I would think would be core Labour policy ?

  8. Liam 8

    I think that you would be hard pressed to argue in 1989 that a universal benefit was core labour policy. Roger Douglas hinted at wanting this is opposition budget in 1980 so it is not a new idea. But he clearly had bigger plans for social policy then this in the 1980’s.

    so, i dont think you can argue that it has been core policy for 19 years. It has been talked about regularly in for the last 8 years and now looks like it is going to be put into action next year.

  9. Liam: “now looks like it is going to be put into action next year.” Wouldn’t that require Labour to win the election ?

  10. bill brown 10

    Wouldn’t that require Labour to win the election ?

    Yes it would, perhaps you should vote for them to make sure it does.

  11. Liam 11

    yes, that is right, that is how an election works. you need to be in power to make changes and to put your policy in to action

  12. Matthew Pilott 12

    Core policy Bryan? I don’t think so, I don’t know a lot about it but it sounds like a handy detail in the GSoT(that saved a lot) but core policy’s about more than that.

    I’m not too sure about saying ‘x years to do y‘ either. You could easily say that the party was formed in 1916 so we’ve been waiting nigh on a century for them to do y

    Oh, do you think The Wastewatch Party will not do this because it’s a Labour policy? Not exactly the precedent they’ve set to date!

  13. Oliver 13

    The Labour government and waste. I’m a public servant whose particular role sees me working very closely with four other departments in the public service. I see stacks of waste every day that has largely come about from managers having stacks of cash to spend and to little oversight on how they spend it. Or rather they have plenty of oversight but those overseeing just don’t care.

    Most of the waste doesn’t come in the form of big splash items that make good headlines but if the slightest bit of pressure was applied then all 5 departments (the one I work for and the 4 I work with) could make a lot of savings and increase productivity at the same time.

  14. higherstandard 14

    Oliver report to room 546/1 for reprogramming :]

  15. Draco TB 15

    Most of the waste doesn’t come in the form of big splash items that make good headlines but if the slightest bit of pressure was applied then all 5 departments (the one I work for and the 4 I work with) could make a lot of savings and increase productivity at the same time.

    And how this is different to the private sector?

    Also, blaming this on Labour is disingenuous as it’s the culture within those departments that has developed over many years and nothing to do with the Labour Party or government. If you want it to change then you need to change the culture and that means getting off your arse and doing something about it rather than whinging about it.

  16. Oliver- “that has largely come about from managers having stacks of cash to spend”

    Interesting, thanks for your insight into the world of the public service for those of us trapped in private enterprise 🙂 I hope your IP address isn’t currently being reported to the State Services Commission so you can be reprimanded for being honest!!!

    And why do public service “managers have stacks of cash? Because us taxpayers keep on giving it to them.

    [lprent: We do capture IP’s. But they are only used for purposes internal to the site – like unique visitor stats and helping to ban trolls. It is in the Policy.]

  17. Draco TB: “And how this is different to the private sector?”

    Draco a question like that tends to indicate you must be working in the public sector. The difference is that the public sector are wasting our money.

    If for example New World chooses to waste money then it either makes less profit or it loses customers to it’s competitors. If SPARC wastes money then…nothing happens or they get given even more money to waste next year.

  18. Draco TB: “nothing to do with the Labour Party or government.”

    Draco Labour has had 9 years to do something about it. What they have done about it, is to spend even more money on projects like SPARCS $11 million MissionOn website that gets 40 page views a day ( my 7 year old sons website gets more).

  19. higherstandard: “Oliver report to room 546/1 for reprogramming :]”

    If Labour wins the election HS there will be a few of us being taken to room 546/1 for “re-education”.

  20. Draco TB 20

    Draco a question like that tends to indicate you must be working in the public sector.

    Haven’t been in the public sector for nearly 20 years. The point I was trying to make is that I’ve seen that type of behavior in every single multi-national corp I’ve worked in since. It seems to be endemic to large organisations and there’s no difference between public and private.

    If for example New World chooses to waste money then it either makes less profit or it loses customers to it’s competitors. If SPARC wastes money then nothing happens or they get given even more money to waste next year.

    That depends on the systems and culture within the organisations not on it being public or private. Just changing the systems won’t work – you have to change the culture and that would take years. Then there’s the cost of changing it and the effect of diminishing returns – trying to remove any more of the waste may cost more than it will save.

  21. lprent 21

    I’d have to agree with Draco. I’ve worked all over the place during the years in private industry. What I saw in my one contract with the public sector wasn’t much different than the type of management styles that I saw in big corporates.

    It is also why I never work in either these days.

  22. Draco TB: you seem to be ignoring the fundamental issue. When the public service wastes money it is wasting my money and assuming you pay tax in this country yours as well.

  23. Matthew Pilott 23

    HS – wrong bracket : then )

    In many circumstances, the private sector spends far more than the public on non-productive things, because they don’t have the oversight that is ever-present in the public service (the whole “front page of the paper” thing). It’s disingenuous to suggest that there’s public waste that wouldn’t happen in the private sector.

    Waste happens all the time, everywhere. It’s just never going to go away, though it does make a useful beating stick from time to time!

  24. higherstandard 24

    Bryan you bet me to it.

    The rational that incompetence and waste is OK in the public sector because it’s no worse than in big corporates is absurd.

    I agree with both Lynn and Draco that there is substantive waste in big corporates and that it’s endemic in any large corporates – surely though this is an argument for smaller government and governmental departments not the corporate game of let’s put on some more heads to justify our existence and fill the meeting room.

    MP have pity I’ll try again 🙂

    Feck it worked

  25. mike 25

    “The more efficient system will save $40 to $70 million a year”

    So now that labour have been in power for 9 years we are supposed to be greatful that they have wasted $360 to 630 million dollars.

    Too little too late

  26. They were meant to magically have the system 9 years ago? mike, good things take time, not everything can be done at once (there are only so many policy staff, and aren’t you usually complaining there are too may?)

    Anywya, you’re argument isn’t a reason to vote National either. They had nine eyars and did nothing, at least Labour has developed and implemented the policy

  27. Matthew Pilott 27

    Mike, doesn’t that mean the last National govermnent wasted the same money, as did Labour before that? bleedin’ gummint.

    HS 8) now try an 8 for the slightly zonked look.

    Now – waste – sure it’s not good if it is public. Or private. But let’s assume (I think we can) that both are as bad at it as the other. That’s definitely what I’ve gathered.

    So, a transfer to a private provider for x service won’t necessarily save anything. Thus, if it’s more efficient to be publicly funded for whatever reason, you lose that efficiency simply to be able to say your taxes aren’t being wasted. There are other reasons, such as freeloading, that necessitate public central provision.

    That’s all it comes down to, pre- or post-tax waste. That’s no argument for small government or public service bashing in my (theiving Social Democrat) mind.

  28. Draco TB 28

    Draco TB: you seem to be ignoring the fundamental issue. When the public service wastes money it is wasting my money and assuming you pay tax in this country yours as well.

    No, I’m not ignoring it. I’m trying to point out that you can’t eliminate waste from large organisations and to even try would just be more wasteful. You do the best that you can but at some point you need to cut your losses. I’m reasonably certain that those public organisations are already doing their best the same as the multi-national corporations do.

    surely though this is an argument for smaller government…

    Maybe, if we use that logic, we should cut out the multi-national corporations as well?

    The government isn’t a single organisation. There are some parts that are a few people and are probably just as efficient as a small business and there are some that employ thousands that have the same efficiencies as large multi-national corporations. If you cut these large government departments down you don’t end up with a smaller, more efficient government but with a government that can’t do it’s job.

  29. higherstandard 29

    Draco you can eliminate waste from large organisations – it’s called redundancy, retrenchment, downsizing etc etc

    “There are some parts that are a few people and are probably just as efficient as a small business and there are some that employ thousands that have the same efficiencies as large multi-national corporations. If you cut these large government departments down you don?t end up with a smaller, more efficient government but with a government that can?t do it?s job.”

    Really ? In my opinion that really is the multimillion dollar question and is what we should be debating.

  30. Draco TB et al. There is a consequence in the private sector for excessive waste and poor performance it’s called bankruptcy. Perhaps we should let the public sector go bankrupt ? Might focus a few minds.

  31. Swampy 31

    “Draco TB
    July 4, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    Most of the waste doesn’t come in the form of big splash items that make good headlines but if the slightest bit of pressure was applied then all 5 departments (the one I work for and the 4 I work with) could make a lot of savings and increase productivity at the same time.

    And how this is different to the private sector?”

    The private sector is where the government gets most of its money from. That is quite a big difference.

    The big topic in this forum is renationalisation of rail, and if you believe half of the reasons put about by the proponents of that cause then there can’t have been any waste at all at Toll Rail because they are all fat cats looking to screw the maximum profit from their operations.

  32. Swampy 32

    The benefits supposedly of public sector oversight are few and far between.

    Mostly the public sector gets bogged down in political footballs and albatrosses where financial sense is lacking, and that happens because the accountability is much lower.

  33. Swampy 33

    If I was the National Party I would be asking where the average taxpayer is going to see that $40 to $70 million saving. Is that going to pay for tax cuts?

  34. Swampy: Good points Swampy.

    The supporters of the nationalisation of rail have conveniently forgotten that while in government hands : “in 1990 $1.2 billion of debt was written off and a $360 million cash injection had to be made to keep it afloat.” Quoting Roger Kerr

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    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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