Reports of six figure pay rises for some public sector chiefs must come as a real slap in the face for those hard-working Kiwis constantly being told by the government they need to tighten their belts, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“The massive pay rises we’ve seen in the highest echelons of government simply aren’t justifiable in the current climate.
“Public sector bosses have a tough job, nobody doubts that, but these huge pay hikes are a real kick in the guts for those who are losing their jobs or having their workloads ‘upsized’ by restructuring while at the same time having their pay packets frozen,” Chris Hipkins says.
“Some of these state sector bosses are getting annual pay rises of more than 20 per cent.
“John Key and Bill English constantly preach restraint, yet it seems they aren’t expecting this same level of austerity from their most senior officials.
“Last week I revealed the Prime Minister and his deputy had both increased spending on staff in their own departments while frontline public services face constant cutbacks.
“There’s a real double standard at work in this government.
“I think most Kiwis have had a guts-full of seeing highly paid CEOs and directors receive plumped up pay packets, regardless of performance, while ordinary working New Zealanders struggle to make ends meet.
“It’s time for the government to lead by example. Reigning in the salaries of public bosses is a good way to start,” Chris Hipkins says.