I missed this one a few weeks ago but it’s worth pointing out.
National spent $300,000 hiring half a dozen supposed business geniuses for $2,000 a day to find places to cut costs in the public sector. Called them ‘purchase advisers’.
They ought to be able to find heaps to cut eh? I mean, National was endlessly telling us about all this ‘government waste’. Key was promising us tax cuts funded by cuts to wasteful spending. Which means there must be a lot of it. The core public service only costs a few billion. A decent tax cut costs at least a billion.
So those purchase advisers must have found a high proportion of the spending was fat to cut eh? Nope.
One of them, Graham Scott, said “It wasn’t as if there was a whole lot of fat there I could advise them to get rid of.” He had the decency to not even charge the government. Unfortunately, the other five charged about $60K each, without finding any real fat.
If you’re not a right-wing ideologue, it will come as no surprise that there’s no fat. Our public service is one of the best run in the world. No-one has any interest in having lots of wasted spending – not the managers, not the CEOs, not the ministers. But National created the myth of government waste nonetheless. It had to if it was to convince people that they could have their cake and eat it – cut taxes, aka government revenue, without cutting the services like health and education everyone loves.
Of course it was a lie. There was no fat to cut. The real cost of the tax cuts will be worse health care and lower quality education. And did you even get a tax cut from National after all that? Me neither. No wonder Key and his purchase advisers are laughing all the way to the bank.