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Govt Announces Cap On Number Of Public Service Employees

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Tony Ryall
Tony Ryall

Wellington, March 26 NZPA - The Government has set the cap on the number of core public service employees at 38,859, the same as it was at the end of December.

It said before the election it was going to cap the number of employees because it wanted to control the growth of the public service.

State Services Minister Tony Ryall said today the previous government let it get out of control and in nine years it grew by 50 percent.

Labour said the cap represented a maximum number of public servants.

"It certainly doesn't create a minimum," said the party's state services spokesman Grant Robertson.

"We already know there are job cuts at the State Services Commission, the Tertiary Education Commission, the Ministry for the Environment and the National Library."

The Public Service Association (PSA) also complained about job cuts.

"The Government led the PSA, the media and the public to believe the cap would mean maintaining staff numbers," said PSA national secretary Brenda Pilott.

"Jobs are being cut, not capped."

Ms Pilott said the PSA estimated that so far about 880 jobs were going through positions being axed and through not replacing staff who left.

Mr Ryall said staff numbers were going to be "rebalanced" within organisations to achieve the Government's aim of delivering more frontline services.

He said the focus was not just on staff numbers.

"Departments are looking at smarter ways of delivering results and ensuring that all expenditure is carefully managed within budgets," he said.

"Every family and every business is making changes because of global economic conditions.

"The state sector must play its part on behalf of everyday Kiwis to enable the country to get through."

The core public service is defined as all public service departments and five crown entities -- Housing NZ, NZ Qualifications Authority, NZ Transport Agency, Trade and Enterprise and the Tertiary Education Commission.

Some departments have been excluded from the core cap, including the Prison Service and Child, Youth and Family.

The Defence Force and the police are not considered to be core public service departments.

NZPA PAR pw nb

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