ACT Party calls job cut plans by Ministry for Primary Industries 'good'

The ACT Party has called MPI's proposed job cuts "good" in a post on X/Twitter.
The ACT Party has called MPI's proposed job cuts "good" in a post on X/Twitter. Photo credit: Newshub.

The ACT Party is calling the announcement by the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) to slash about 9 percent of its staff "good". 

MPI's proposal to cut 384 jobs emerged in an email to staff on Thursday afternoon. About 40 percent of proposed cuts are for vacant roles. 

It comes as MPI tries to scramble 7.5 percent in cash savings from July 1, as demanded by the Government ahead of May's Budget. 

Other ministries and departments have been asked to make similar savings.

"Good. The number of bureaucrats at MPI increased by 52 percent - or 1277 - between 2017-23. 

"The average salary at MPI is about $102,000," said a post on ACT's X page, which was retweeted by leader David Seymour.

There is no plan to slash MPI's key frontline services including veterinarians, fisheries or biosecurity officers. 

Staff have just under three weeks to give feedback and a final decision will be made by mid-May. 

"It's really tough and I really identify and I empathise with those individuals and those families," said Prime Minister Christopher Luxon on Thursday. 

"I know that there is every effort being made by Government departments. Often, they'll announce a series of roles that are going - often in many cases they are vacancies so there's no people in those jobs currently," he told reporters. 

Where possible, ministries redeploy staff to other roles that come up, Luxon said. 

"This is the reality of: We have to get Government spending under control." 

Luxon said ACT's post was for "Seymour to talk to".

"But what I can say to you is, today it is a tough day for people in those Government departments," Luxon added. 

Also on Thursday, the Ministry of Health announced a restructuring that could affect more than one-in-four roles. 

Luxon said the Government needs to "right size it", referring to the number of workers in the public service.