The Provincial Growth Fund has only managed to create just over 600 jobs with taxpayers forking out almost $500,000 per job, proving the policy is nothing more than another example of wasteful spending by this Government, National’s Regional Development spokesperson Chris Bishop says.
“The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has paid out $297.5 million so far and it has created only 616 full time jobs. That works out to be $482,000 per full time jobs.
“Most New Zealanders would be shocked to hear their hard earned taxpayer money is being sprayed around by a Minister who is just spending cash without making sure business cases stack up.
“Regional Development Minister Shane Jones has publicly stated the main point of the PGF is to create jobs, but he’s only created 616. Shane Jones’ previous response to questions on job creation has been a shrug and vague promises about jobs materialising down the track.
“Well we’re two years in, when will these jobs in the regions materialise Shane?
“To make matters worse, the number of bureaucrats at the Provincial Development Unit has more than doubled in the last year. There were 53 in October last year, now 116, and 70 per cent of those employees are on salaries of $100,000 or more.
“The PGF is a giant waste of money. It’s a great time to be a bureaucrat in Wellington. But if you’re in the regions, where jobs are needed, you’re out of luck.
“From a Government that has become well-known for wasteful spending, this takes things to another level.
“We want our regions to prosper because what’s good for our communities is good for New Zealand’s economic well-being. Jobs aren’t created by political slush funds, but by the private sector responding to sound economic policies.”