(National Party media release)

The annual bill for the cost of contractors continues to explode under Labour, seeing the taxpayer spend more on a growing government while getting little in return, National’s Public Service spokesperson Simeon Brown says.

“When Labour removed the cap on the number of core public servants back in 2018, Chris Hipkins promised that the Government wouldn’t need to pay for more contractors and consultants but figures released today show this simply isn’t the case.

“Under Labour, the total cost for consultants and contractors has increased to $939 million, after peaking at $967.9 million at the end of the 2019/20 financial year.

“The annual bill for bureaucrats has also exploded from $3.5 billion in 2017 to over $5 billion at the end of 2021. This is a massive increase in spending and shows that under Labour, the bureaucratic machine keeps getting bigger.

“The Labour Government has a unique ability to spend more but get worse outcomes. Spending has sky-rocketed, yet kids are getting a worse education, crime is out of control and hospital wait lists have ballooned.

“While New Zealanders are going backwards in real terms with their incomes, the Government is increasing the size of the Wellington bureaucracy, and increasing the number of people on large salaries, meaning less money for frontline services, and more debt for New Zealanders to pay back in years to come.

The Government needs to put a lid on top of the spending and the size of the public service.

“New Zealanders need an efficient and effective public service. The Government’s decision to scrap the Better Public Service targets that were set up under National show that Labour is only committed to spending, instead of delivering outcomes for all New Zealanders.”