The bureaucracy

David Farrar makes some good points about where my tax money has gone.

Since Labour has came into office, there have been:
12% more teachers, but 40% more education bureaucrats
28% more medical professionals, but 51% more health bureaucrats
28% more MSD service staff, but 109% more MSD bureaucrats
and a 142% increase in salary costs for policy departments. It is the fastest growing sector in the economy.

Now I know why despite investing all this extra money in health and education Labour hasn’t delivered much better services in these areas.

The problem with bureaucrats are that while some certainly are needed to monitor the performance and manage Government departments, they represent a burden on the economy. If we have an extra 10 000 bureaucrats (which we have been given by Labour since 2000) we have additional costs on the taxpayer to pay their wages, while delivering no goods and services to the economy. If we don’t have the 10 000 bureaucrats, the people can be employed in more productive sectors of the economy, paying tax (helping ease instead of adding to Government coffers)  and making our country richer. This is not to mention where bureaucracy makes things worse with unnecessary regulations and red tape.

It is therefore pleasing to see Key promising to do something about the problem. He is going to cap the number of bureacrats at 36 000 (where they are now) saving taxpayers $500 000 000 over three years (which can go into improving the quality of health and education). The downside to the policy is it is timid. I’m not an expert on bureaucracy, and don’t know precisely how many the country needs, but perhaps a review into this (with only 10 temporary bureaucrats) might not be a bad idea.

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One Comment on “The bureaucracy”

  1. lprent Says:

    Now you have attracted my interest.

    I find it interesting that you quote percentages. That is the classic way to lie using statistics. It depends on the divisor. A 40% increase on a small number of people is only a couple of people. A 12% increase on a lot of people is a lot of people.

    If you are going to quote percentages, then put in the absolute numbers. Then people will be able to decide if your post is bullshit or not.

    So far you are looking like an idiot spinner.


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