Ryall: Our Only Plan Is Cuts

Written By: - Date published: 7:41 am, October 2nd, 2010 - 10 comments
Categories: public services, same old national - Tags: ,

Treasury in their first year under National tripled their expenditure on contractors.  Tony Ryall gave his reasoning behind this yesterday afternoon; coming up with that it was because National have so much more new policy than the previous government in its ‘dying year’.  But then he added that virtually all other departments have reduced their expenditure on contractors.  So following his argument all other departments have less policy than a dying government without any policy ideas…

Which leaves National’s only ideas coming through the Department of Cuts (of both tax and public services), Treasury.  Sure enough, Anne Tolley, with the Department of Education’s reduced contractor bill, does indeed seem to have no idea.  Kate Wilkinson, whether as the ‘please mine my department’ Conservation Minister or the ‘Act tells me who’s good for 90-day fire-at-will‘ Minister of Labour, doesn’t seem to have much clue.  Indeed, maybe we should have listened more to Rortney last year about the do nothing government that he can get his ideas past…

Of course, as plausible as that sounds, contractor spending doesn’t relate to how much policy a government has.  It does often relate to cutting too deeply into the public service though.  Grant Robertson says there’s anecdotal evidence to suggest that contractor spending in many departments is significantly up within the last year, as the Government’s civil service cap has cut 2100 jobs, including many in the ‘frontline’ that they promised to protect.  Like in the 90s, National’s penny-wise, pound foolish ways mean we sack civil servants, paying their redundancy, before employing them again as contractors at twice the price when departments discover they haven’t the resources to do their work.  It makes sense to keep the ability for departments to fulfil their roles in-house, even if that means numbers of civil servants to which National are ideologically opposed.

10 comments on “Ryall: Our Only Plan Is Cuts”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    It does often relate to cutting too deeply into the public service though.

    It’s also an indication of bad management as contractors tend to cost more than employees. There’s also the fact that people employed on the job the whole time are going to know the job better than someone who’s brought in every now and then so the advice you get from employees is far better than what you get from contractors. There’s also the minor fact that employees are are more accountable than contractors.

    Really, everything that NACT have done since taking office is pretty much bad and unacceptable management. Things will get worse and cost us more than they otherwise would have.

    • RedLogix 1.1

      Exactly DtB.

      In my experience contractors are only worth their extra cost if they bring a specific, narrow, or rarely used expertise that is too difficult, or expensive to maintain inside your own organisation. Otherwise they tend to be very poor value for money.

      Contracting out your core business is simply dumb management.

    • BLiP 1.2

      Or good management . . . especially if you don’t trust the public service to come up with the results you want as part of a wider agenda to eventually contract out all of the public service.

  2. Lazy Susan 2

    It was announced this week that the new Auckland Council will employ 1,523 less people than the existing combined councils of the Auckland region. Redundancy bill will be about $20million and the skill base within in the council will be seriously eroded for good.

    Expect the use of contractors to quickly trend up as the Super Shitty takes shape and the Council Confiscating Organisations start writing out the cheques for their mates. This has nothing to do with efficiency and cost saving and everything to do with transference of control to a wealthy elite.

  3. ianmac 3

    The European reaction to Austerity and cuts in State Services is featured in a Kim Hill interview with Mr Wolff. It includes the idea that rich should be taxed more since they were the cause of the collapse. eg Oregan, USA.
    [audio src="http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/sat/sat-20101002-0810-Richard_Wolff_unions_in_Europe-048.mp3" /]

  4. Ed 4

    Is there a link for Tony Ryall’s statement yesterday afternoon regarding Treasury’s use of contractors?

  5. Oh well just wait for National to be elected again, remember It was Ruth Richardson and Roger Douglas who imported the Employment Contracts Act from Pinochets regime and John Key wants to strengthen this by replicating the Pinechot union busting and people bashing so he can have a country for the wealthy with low paid workers with no hope for the future.

    Ruth Richardson, Don Brash and Jenny Shipley have taken over Canterbury now joined by King Gerry so watch that space.

    Problem is they are too short sighted to realise you can lead a worker to work but you cannot make him work with the right attitude if they do not want to, if the will of the people is not behind the Government it cannot succeed.
    It does not matter how many unemployed people are lining up to take the job employers have to take into account the firing and hiring costs, the training costs, people working who don’t know what they are doing, easy to sabatage a business in that situation.

    Anyhow we are taking our Trade off shore, Who wants John Key and his band of Black Hearts.

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