25 Jun 2012

Government sets targets for public sector

7:56 pm on 25 June 2012

The Government has put specific figures on the five-year targets it has set for the public sector.

Some of the targets have already been announced, or were part of National's election policy.

They include a reduction of 30% over the next five years in the number of long-term beneficiaries.

A target has been set to reduce the crime rate by 15% and violent crime by 20%.

The Government also wants to stop the continuing increase in assaults on children and reduce abuse rates by 5% by 2017.

Prime Minister John Key acknowledges some of the targets will be extremely difficult to achieve.

And so will public sector chief executives, as Mr Key says it could affect the performance element of their pay.

"There's nothing wrong with spelling out very clearly to a chief executive what your expectations are, and for there being some alignment with achieving that objective and financial performance."

Deputy Prime Minister Bill English also says it will not be easy to meet the targets.

"Well we're not saying many of them are aspirational, we are saying these are achievable, but recognising the difficulty of achieving them in some cases, because what we're trying to do here is dig into some of New Zealand's longest running, most intractable social problems. And we're not naive about that."