Editorial: Core tasks

POSTED: 09/3/13 2:15 PM

Finance Minister Hassink’s mission impossible continued with a debate in the central committee yesterday. The minister is miffed that politicians in the Netherlands picked up on his statement – that a zero-budget deficit may be a mission impossible – with gusto, as he pointed out that in the Mission Impossible movies the hero in the end prevails.

More interesting is the minister’s focus on controlling personnel costs and his drive for a core task study. We have an inkling that the minister is of the opinion that the government has too many civil servants and that it could be performing tasks it should not do.

The core task study will provide clarity on this issue. This exercise may cause some unrest in the civil service but what matters more than the comfort of individual civil servants is that the country arrives at a budget that is sustainable for the long term. Minister Hassink’s approach seems to fit Minister Lake’s back to basics strategy like a glove.

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