This is meant to be the “honeymoon” period, where everyone loves John Key and his new Government, and gives them a chance.
But, sorry, I just can’t go there. Because, before the Governemnt is even formed, Key has indicated he will break one very significant election promise. Take a look at this:
Cap the size of the core bureaucracy in the first term of government, and ensure that priority is given to delivering frontline services that directly benefit New Zealanders.
Now, the current number of people employed in the central government public service is 39,400.
Now, post-election, John Key states this:
Incoming Prime Minister John Key says departmental chief executives will be asked to carry out spending reviews; he expects savings of at least $500 million over three years.
National won’t say what departments will be affected, but it wants to reduce the number of bureaucrats to about 36,000.
Now, that looks like 3,400 loyal and honest public servants who have done nothing wrong losing their jobs!
Key now reveals this is not a “cap” on public service employment (as the policy suggested), it is a cut – and a rather substantial one – 3,400 jobs down the drain.
Now, I would have thought that any sensible government would support retaining public sector employment levels at a time when there are likely to be redundancies in the private sector consequent on the “sub-prime” lending scandal.
As Steve Pierson says at The Standard:
In other words, National could prevent this debt blow out by cancelling its tax cuts for the rich. It won’t do so, of course. National should make the creation of useful jobs a priority, as Labour intended to do to keep benefit numbers and crime down, and income and tax revenue up. But it won’t do that, either.
But I guess that’s not the case when you are the Sub-Prime Minister. You look after your wealthy mates, and honest, hardworking public servants can join the dole queue.
Because, fundamentally, these guys like having unemployment high to support their wealthy mates by keeping wages low.