“MBIE scraps $27 Christmas party subsidies amid spending cuts, voluntary redundancies investigated”

One of the country’s largest ministries is canning its $27-a-head subsidy for Christmas parties as part of broader spending cuts set to intensify under the incoming National-led Government. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, which has more than 6500 staff across the country, confirmed today it was scrapping the end of year function subsidy and reducing discretionary spending by 15 per cent with “immediate effect”. MBIE chief executive Carolyn Tremain said the measures were a response to a request from the Labour Government to cut spending by $110 million, or 2 per cent, and did not reflect anything from the incoming National-led Government. Both National and Act have signalled major cuts at MBIE, which is responsible for a vast array of services including immigration, with the latter saying it wants to halve the workforce, which numbered 6533 as of September.