Revealed: Taxpayers spending at least $75 million per year on additional days off for public servants
New research from the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union reveals that public servants are receiving additional days of paid leave, beyond their statutory entitlements, amounting to more than $75 million per year.
This year, taxpayers paid public servants for over 167,000 days that they weren’t even at work, excluding the four weeks that they are legally entitled to and public holidays. This equates to more than 457 years.
We struggle to believe that public servants are working so much harder than the non-government workers who pay their salaries that they need all this additional time off.”
The money spent could have paid for 1,000 extra nurses*, but instead it was wasted paying bureaucrats to sit at home.
The data obtained account for only 36,400 members of the public service when we know there are more than 60,000 employees.
We fear how high this number might be. Almost all public servants receive an additional three ‘department days’, but some public servants are receiving up to 30 additional days annual leave, which is absolutely ridiculous.
The worst offenders are the Ministry of Social Development and MBIE who spend more than $14 million and $12 million, respectively. The Department of Corrections, Oranga Tamariki and the Ministry for Women have not yet provided a response while the GSCB, NZSIS and Serious Fraud Office refused to provide a monetary value.
The cost of this doesn’t even include productivity losses from the days the public servants are not working such as delays in processing times for visa and passport applications.
The Government should remove all leave additional entitlements for bureaucrats. If four weeks annual leave and 11 public holidays is good enough for those in the private sector, it is good enough for backroom bureaucrats.
A link to the data obtained so far can be found here. A small proportion of the data had to be extrapolated where departments provided incomplete responses.
*Based on a $70,000 salary.