Flip Flop Boy said today a National Government would "put a cap on the number of bureaucrats."
"Core bureaucrat" numbers have grown 37 per cent [since 1999], compared to 10 per cent growth in state sector staff providing frontline services and 22 per cent growth in employment in the economy as a whole, he said.
The Nats fighting bureaucracy? No, not really. Yet again, the large print giveth and the small print taketh away. Showing the clear difference between a politician and a principled politicians he went on to clarify:
It is time to stop the growth in bureaucracy experienced under the Labour Government over the past eight years, because there are already enough bureaucrats to do the job... When it comes to the bureaucracy, it is clear that Labour has spent eight years doing the same with more. It’s high time we started doing more with the same.
Actually, no. When it comes to bureaucrats and their all-enveloping bureaucracy, it's well past time "we" started expecting -- nay, demanding -- much less with many fewer.
As Ludwig von Mises observed, "Only to bureaucrats can the idea occur that establishing new offices, promulgating new decrees, and increasing the number of government employees alone can be described as positive and beneficial measures." And only a charlatan would see anything less than a total reversal of that process as anything to boast about.
UPDATE: "Not exactly the razor gang promised by former National leader Don Brash, is it?" says Colin Espiner (correctly).
"I can see Key’s problem though,"says the sympathetic scribe. "To announce you’re about to take the knife to the state sector is asking for trouble, since it invites immediate attacks from Labour of the 'slash and burn' variety - you know, National’s 'scorched earth' policies, etc, etc." And to announce you're not going to take the knife means you invite immediate attacks from those aware the bloated sector is urgently overdue to be punctured, and builds up trouble later when of if such cuts do come because you'll be seen to have been lying. Again.
Here's how I would slash the bureaucracy while keeping the bureaucrats onside. On coming to power I'd tell them all that whoever wanted to could take a year's paid holiday. This would be worth it, since it would stop the bureaucrats whimpering about their jobs while giving them time to get a real one, and everyone and their uncle would immediately see which, if any, bureaucrats were worth keeping when they all returned (if any did) after their year off. And you can be damn sure it won't be those who are "responsible for developing and implementing frameworks, models, and systems for strategic measurement of progress, determining the best practice benchmarks related to organisational performance, and for developing processes to monitor [departments'] progress towards achieving strategic outcomes.”
How many of Wellington's 36,000 bureaucrats would be missed?