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Prime Minister's ducking and diving can't hide lack of economic plan

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Brenda Pilott
Brenda Pilott

Throwing those who deliver vital public services onto the dole queue does nothing to create more private sector jobs or economic growth, says the PSA.

"Three years of public sector cuts and empty rhetoric from the Government have failed to deliver economic growth or more jobs. Even before February's Canterbury earthquake, it was clear that strategy wasn't working, but it appears it's the one the Government is sticking with," says the public sector union's National Secretary, Brenda Pilott.

Public Sector workers have NOT done better than most in recent times

Public sector pay is falling behind private sector pay - so much so that government agencies are finding it difficult to compete and attract good talent. Shane Mackay of OCG recruitment agency said earlier this month on National Radio: "Public sector clients are more constrained when competing for good talent."

Figures for the year March 2010 - March 2011 show that public sector pay rose on average 1.4 percent while private sector pay rose on average 1.9 percent. Both these rises are under the rate of inflation for the same period, which rose by 4.5 percent.

Cutting public sector jobs will NOT create economic growth

"Unduly targeting the public sector when the real problem lies with the private sector will do little to boost New Zealand's economy or deal with the country's private debt problem," says Brenda Pilott.

"The core public service, one of Finance Minister's favourite targets, accounts for only 2 percent of the total labour force. The Government needs to come up with a better plan than simply cutting public services and throwing those who provide them on the scrapheap. More public sector pain means more pain for New Zealanders who rely on vital public services.

"The credit ratings agency Standard and Poors has warned that cuts to Kiwisaver could plunge NZ further into debt unless these are part of a budget package that boosts national savings overall. The same warning applies to public sector cuts.

"Decades of international evidence shows that public sector investment is a key driver of economic growth. Europe's fastest growing economy, Sweden, allocates 55 percent of its GDP to government spending.

"Simply cutting public sector jobs will not bring growth. We need the nurses, scientists, DOC workers, bio-security staff, IT experts, administrators, disability support workers, engineers, teachers and the other professionals who help deliver the public services we rely on. Cutting jobs with no plan on how to create a modern, efficient public service will only run down the sector and the services it provides," says Brenda Pilott, PSA National Secretary.

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