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Brownlee: Out-of-control State Sector Hits Businesses At Both Ends

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

21 July 2008 - National's State Services spokesman, Gerry Brownlee, is not surprised by reports that Labour's obsession with growing the public sector is making life hell for businesses up and down the country.

"Businesses are complaining that the huge growth in the public service, caused by Labour's out-of-control spend-a-thon, is causing real problems for them.

"The productive sector of the economy which produces growth and wealth is suffering from what it calls 'chequebook recruitment' as it is forced to compete with government departments for staff. These businesses are being stifled by the rampant growth in the public sector. They are being dealt a double-whammy: expensive recruitment costs and then higher interest rates as a result of Labour's profligate approach to government spending."

The number of people working for government departments grew by 11% between 2002 and June last year to a whopping 325,000. The number of public servants in Wellington grew by almost 7,000 in that time.

"Labour's obsession with increasing public service bureaucracy has resulted in the public sector leading the market, rather than the private sector.

"There are quite simply no controls. The public service just keeps growing and growing and Helen Clark and the Labour Party are quite happy to keep passing the costs on to the taxpayer.

"This blatant disregard for taxpayers' money explains why Labour has presided over an unprecedented growth in the bureaucracy which, since 2000, has ballooned from 26,200 to 36,000 today. And, at the same time, interest rates are significantly higher than they would have been if Labour had exerted some sort of discipline on its inflationary spending.

"National will not abuse the public purse. We will, instead, commit to spending taxpayers' money as carefully as do hardworking Kiwi families and businesses."

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