The Public Service Association (PSA) is calling on public sector chief executives to consult with staff to identify savings in the wake of Finance Minister Grant Robertson’s direction to return sector spending to pre-Covid levels.
“While it’s never a good time to cut spending on public services, we understand as revenue falls during challenging economic times, savings need to be found,” said National Secretary PSA Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi, Duane Leo.
Agencies have been directed to find permanent savings of 1 or 2% percent off their existing baselines, with a number of agencies excluded.
“We welcome the Finance Minister’s directive to public sector chief executives to carefully work through where efficiencies can be found by tapping into the knowledge of those who know their operations best and that’s the workers,” said Mr Leo.
“However, we are hopeful this drive to find savings does not mean any cuts to existing jobs.
“This programme shows how reckless it is for National and ACT to make sweeping promises about large and expensive tax cuts during tough times. These can only be funded by deep and wide cuts to the services New Zealanders rely on.
“Today’s announcement is a more responsible response to our economic challenges without threatening services and jobs of our trusted and efficient public sector,” he said.