10 Mar 2011

Sweeping cuts in policy advice seem unlikely

9:31 am on 10 March 2011

A review of the policy advice the Government gets does not appear to have recommended any sweeping cuts in the spending on such advice.

When the review was announced last August, Finance Minister Bill English criticised what he said was a 70% increase in spending on policy advice between 2003 and 2009.

That led to accusations that the review - part of the National-led government's confidence and supply agreement with ACT - was a cost-cutting exercise.

Mr English says, however, that it does not recommend wholesale cuts to spending - rather, it recommends ways in which policy advice and leadership in the public service can be improved.

The Government has had the report for three or four weeks but it has not yet been made public.