Wellington, May 13 NZPA - The prospect of up to 200 redundancies at the Ministry of Social Development has given Labour another opportunity to accuse the Government going on a slash and burn binge.
Ministry chief executive Peter Hughes said yesterday "structural changes" had to be made and the worst-case scenario was up to 200 redundancies.
He explained the need to restructure by saying it was necessary so that more staff could be put into the frontline to deal with increasing workloads during the recession.
Staff affected would include managers, staff at head office and administrative support roles.
Labour MP Grant Robertson said the redundancies showed the Government's talk about saving jobs was hollow.
"We've heard a lot of rhetoric from National about the fact that they want to save jobs, keep and protect jobs," he said.
"We all want efficient public services but it seems to me National's agenda is simply slash and burn."
The Public Service Association (PSA) said it would work to retain as many jobs as possible.
"Fewer staff handling an increasing workload will create work pressures that put the delivery of essential social services at risk," said PSA national secretary Brenda Pilott.
Yesterday's announcement was the latest in a series of job losses in government departments.
Opposition MPs have ridiculed the Government for holding a jobs summit to protect employees and at the same time as people are being made redundant in its departments.
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