New figures show Labour’s spending on consultants and contractors has risen by more than a third, breaking a promise to lower costs, National’s Public Service spokesperson Simeon Brown says.
Figures released today by the Public Service Commission show that the Government has spent $1.2 billion on contractors and consultants in 2021/22, up from $902 million in 2020/21.
“Labour is addicted to spending and just can’t help itself,” Mr Brown says.
“Labour promised in 2018 to reduce reliance on contractors and consultants, yet spending on them has increased, while the number of core public service bureaucrats also stays at record highs.
“As well as big spending on contractors, the number of public servants on large salaries continues to swell.
“According to the Public Service Commission, public service staff earning more than $100,000 grew by 1,300 to 19,600, up from 18,300 a year ago.
“The Labour Government is spending $1 billion a week more than when it came into office in 2017, partly to fund a growing public sector wage bill.
“But despite the rise in spending somehow the management of health, education and housing is going backwards under this Government.
“In education, more than 40 per cent of our children are not going to school regularly, even though we are spending an extra $5 billion a year on education. A third of pupils failed the new numeracy and literacy assessment pilot in 2021.
“In health, the number of people on a surgical wait list doubled in just ten months between July 2021 and April 2022 from over 14,000 to almost 30,000. The number of people waiting longer than 24 hours in emergency departments more than doubled between April and June 2022.
“When it comes to housing, since 2017, the state housing waiting list has increased six-fold and the number of children living in cars has quadrupled. The Government is now paying motel owners and other landlords $1 million a day for emergency housing, up 10-fold since 2017.
“Labour shows no restraint in spending, yet outcomes for Kiwis are going backwards.”