OPINION

Stuff keeps on banging on about state sector job cuts, like we all care as much as they do about it. We don’t. Most of us want to see harder and faster cuts and are bewildered why the Government isn’t swinging the axe hard.

The axe is falling on the public service, with major job cuts looming in the weeks and months ahead.

As of June 11, Stuff had confirmed that 5867 roles* have been – or are proposed to be – disestablished, as part of the cost savings drive.

The latest updates on cuts come from the Ministry of Justice and Ministry for the Environment, which will decrease its workforce by more than 40%.

It also includes 427 jobs that are coming to an end as the Government has stopped work on the water services amalgamation project. And roles from Crown Entities, such as ACC, which operate with a degree of autonomy and did not have savings targets – but have been asked to make “material savings”.

Stuff

These cuts sound large but they are quite simply tinkering at the edges. If you put the cuts into context then you get a very different perspective:

The economy is in the doldrums, and businesses everywhere are having to make do or cut costs, including staff costs.

The Labour-led government hired willy-nilly, often on projects with no demonstrable progress.

As those projects are cancelled so should be the staff associated with them.

But the Government could and should cut harder.

There has been much wailing about the lack of funding for cancer drugs in the budget. The easy solution would be to axe the Waitangi Tribunal and tell the public that it is putting real health care ahead of imaginary grievances. The vast majority will clap their hands with glee, and the only people who will moan about it don’t vote for any party currently making up the coalition Government.

So cut harder, I say: cut harder.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news,...