11 Sep 2012

Spending on consultants defended

3:45 pm on 11 September 2012

Finance Minister Bill English has defended Government spending of $910.5 million on consultants since 2008.

Labour Party leader David Shearer says the Government is cutting staff and then spending even more on hiring consultants to do work previously done by permanent staff.

But Mr English says the money has been well spent and he does not intend constraining government agencies continuing to use consultants.

Mr English says much of the money spent on consultants is being used to upgrade Government information technology systems.

He says that under Labour, Government IT systems were allowed to run down to a disgraceful level.

Mr English says Government departments are effectively facing a real cut to their budgets of 10% to 15% over the next three to four years.