Monday, June 2, 2008

Why does the Ministry of Social Development have 54 PR people?

St Bernard Hickey, our Patron Saint of Taxpayers, continues his daily crusade against government waste, launched last week.

He appeared on TV1's Agenda programme at the weekend, where presenter Guyon Espiner reported the Ministry of Social Development employs 54 PR people!

Minister Ruth Dyson appeared unconvincing in saying why they need so many and failed to argue why the MSD needs yet more money when government trumpets falling unemployment, etc, etc.

Hickey spells it out, using Treasury figures:

Spending on Social Development has risen fast in recent years, despite the drop in the numbers of unemployment beneficiaries. Total spending in 2008/09 is projected to be $18.03 billion, up from $17.3 billion in the current year and $15.5 billion in 2005/06.

Benefits made up $13.9 billion of that spending in 2008/9 or 77 per cent of total departmental spending; that’s down from 78.5 per cent in 2005/06. Core departmental “output expenditure” has risen from $1.07 billion in 2005/06 to $1.16 billion in 2008/09. That’s almost an extra $100 million in core bureaucracy expenses in four years.
Social policy advice cost $49.9 million in 2008/09, up from $41.4 million in 2005/06.

And while some commentators on his blog question St Bernard's campaign, saying he's going over the top, he offers a neat reply I am sure we all agree with.

I’m going over the top because I’m sick of paying so much tax for government services that don’t improve our lot much and that recently have done nothing but put up interest rates, which also increases the cost of living.
This year’s Budget pushed me over the top. It was profligate, irresponsible and inflationary. I’m not going to stop until someone in government, whoever in government, starts spending our money more carefully.

Why just pick on the MSD? I am sure other departments have similar tales to tell.

Indeed , there is great scope for the growth of government to make its way from the blogs to the mainstream press, so ordinary people can see clearly how government expenditure has grown under Liarbour for so little return.


Anonymous said...

Like everything under Labour - more and more money is thrown at agencies to employ more and more useless staff who will try to justify their existence by thinking of more and more ways of spending our hard earned money just to get less and less effect. We've spent a lot of money over the last 9 years and achieved very little.

Anonymous said...

Mr Fairfacts, you are a journalist?
Why don't you get one of these PR jobs when National gets in.
After all, Liarbore has politicised the civil service through the Madelaine setchell and Clare Curran cases.
There should be plenty of well paid government spin doctor jobs for right-leaning journos.
Whats sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, eh!