Thursday, October 16, 2008

A razor gang

National has announced its "solution" to the deficit - a "Cabinet Expenditure Control Committee" which would examine all public spending looking for things to cut. Or, in English, a razor gang - just like the 90s.

As for their example - the doubling of departmental communications and public relations staff, there's an obvious change over the last six years which has driven that growth, and you're reading it. The public has much greater expectations that information will be made available quickly over the web, requiring each public sector body not just to have a website, but to update it frequently and have real information on it. And that's a Good Thing - more publicly available information means that we as citizens have much greater ability both to scrutinise government and debate policy. If Key cuts those people, we will lose that ability, and that will undermine our democracy. But given that Key also wants to get rid of MMP, he's hardly likely to care about that.