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A Collective of Idiots

Three important articles have been published this month that highlight the declining state of the Australian economy. Despite the rhetoric from leading government members, things are not as they say. The fact that we have heard almost nothing about these disturbing trends in the main news cycle is more than a little concerning.

One of Professor Bill Mitchell’s daily blogs this week paints a depressing picture. Crickey challenges the Treasurer Scott Morrison’s honesty and his competence and Roy Morgan Research reveals the true state of unemployment. In all probability, only a small percentage of Australians even noticed them.

The CPI figures released earlier this week tell us we recorded a quarter of deflation. Which means we are going backwards. Bill Mitchell had this to say about it….

“The smug Australian government – conservative to the core, dishonest on a daily basis, running a daily scare campaign where all that matters is the fiscal deficit and how our AAA rating from the (corrupt) rating agencies will be lost if we don’t record a fiscal surplus as soon as possible.

It fails to mention that we have around 15 per cent (at least) of our willing labour resources not being utilised at present. It fails to mention that inequality and poverty is on the rise. And now, the Australian Bureau of Statistics has told us that this is a government that has finally plunged the nation into a deflationary spiral.

We are now so obsessed with fiscal balances that do not matter, that we ignore the things that actually impact on the well-being of the citizens. And now deflation has arrived. The Australian Bureau of Statistics released the Consumer Price Index, Australia – data for the March-quarter 2016 yesterday.

imagesYVWBAFQK The March-quarter inflation rate was negative (-0.2 per cent), which means Australia has now entered a deflationary period – a reflection of our poorly performing economy. The annual inflation rate is 1.3 per cent, which is well below the Reserve Bank of Australia’s lower target bound of 2 per cent.

The RBA’s preferred core inflation measures – the Weighted Median and Trimmed Mean – are also now below the lower target bound and are trending sharply down. Various measures of inflationary expectations are also falling, quite sharply, including the longer-term, market-based forecasts. It is time for a change in policy direction although next week’s fiscal statement (aka ‘The Budget’) will likely just reinforce the current malaise. A sorry state.”

Crickey zeroed in on the Treasurer, Scott Morrison. Politics editor, Bernard Keane wrote…

“Morrison has universally underwhelmed since he became treasurer. But he has shown a genuine capacity to repeatedly lie about the budget, so we at Crikey have decided to keep on fact-checking Morrison every time he does so.”

Keane then goes on to detail that 1) We are being taxed more under the Coalition, 2) Morrison is presiding over rising government spending, 3) Bills blocked in the senate are not the problem.

The devil in the detail exposes Morrison’s dishonesty or incompetence, or both. The evidence is his own MYEFO statement last December in Table D1 and Table D3 (shown below). They show both an increased tax burden current and future and higher spending current and future. Worse still, the numbers in the budget papers are based on the assumption that all the government’s saving measures, currently blocked in the senate, will be passed.

Which means that even if they are eventually passed, he will still be taxing more and spending more.

Yet he continues to infer greater expenditure and increased taxes under Labor!!!

gary-morgan_390 And finally, Roy Morgan Research reported earlier this month that Australia’s real unemployment level is now more than double the official ABS figures. Executive Chairman, Gary Morgan says…

“In March Australia’s real unemployment increased to 11.0% (1.422 million people looking for work, 54,000 more than a year ago) and under-employment increased to 7.8% (1.011 million, up 35,000) – a total of 18.8% (2.433 million) Australians looking for work or looking for more work.”

The survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on 3,997 face-to-face interviews in March 2016.

So why the huge disparity?

The ABS classifies a person as employed if, when surveyed, a person worked for one hour or more during the reference week for pay, profit, commission or payment in kind, or even if a person worked for one hour or more without pay in a family business or on a farm.

The Roy Morgan Unemployment estimate is obtained by surveying an Australia-wide cross section by face-to-face interviews. A person is classified as unemployed if they are looking for work, no matter when. The results are not seasonally adjusted and provide an accurate measure of monthly unemployment estimates in Australia.

Bill Mitchell gives us a chilling assessment of our economy when he says, “Far from being a nation of free souls, we are, in reality, a collective of idiots – running headlong towards the cliff!”

D1

D3

42 comments

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  1. Jaquix

    One reason they are getting away with this is that The Australian, beloved of Australia’s older and rusted on Liberal voters, keeps these matters out of its paper. I checked the front page this morning and saw 1 article about some “masterstroke” of Turnbulls, 2 more complaining about Labor, and 1 large one complaining about “bureaucrats”. Still, those readers would in the main never be swayed away from their lifetime voting habits. I do notice though that they are very begrudging about praising Turnbull, and Ive even noticed a few articles openly critical, which must be progress. I also noticed that all the other Murdoch papers (Courier Mail, etc) had NO political comment on their front pages. You would not know there was a robust political scenario going on out there, reading these rags. {PS: I never buy the paper, just check it out in the library or newsagents. }

  2. Jaquix

    Another reason they are getting away with it, is that the Labor Party seems to be concentrating on their positive message, policy etc. Its probably a better strategy, and there are still several weeks to go in which they can launch a salvo on the economic performance of the Libs.

  3. John

    Kerry Packer was fortunate in getting one Alan Bond Like the Chinese were lucky to get the one and only Andrew Robb.

  4. Max Gross

    Ah, yes, the great jobless swindle. Since the Dessicated Coconut disbanded the Commonwealth Employment Service and replaced it with his Centrelink/Jobs Network/Jobs Services/Jobs’R’Us/Whatever unemployment industry rort, not once has the official unemployment rate reflected the REAL figure.

  5. my say

    Frightening isn’t it, and they lie about it every day and blame Labor and our MSM are helping them by not reporting the terrible state of our economy ,yet they continue to promise billions of dollars to the states where their polling stinks ,this government is incapable of governing our country ,
    i only hope that the electorate realises that they got into power by scare tactics and lies and we have paid dearly for that they, are a government with so many secrets that it is frightening that they are runnuing our country

  6. MariaE

    They really have NO interest in protecting Australian jobs, have they?

    Nick Xenophon writes about the contract announced today (for an icebreaker) has been awarded to The Netherlands. Recently the contract for a supply vessel went to Spain. That’s several thousand jobs lost which could have kept the shipbuilding industry going until the start of the subs build in a few years time.

    I am NOT convinced that the subs will actually be built in SA. We’ve been promised that before, and we know what Coalition promises are like–they evaporate when no longer needed to fool the voters.

    http://www.nickxenophon.com.au/media/releases/show/2000-sa-jobs-melt-away-as-fed-govt-awards-500m-icebreaker-contract-/

  7. paul walter

    They are not idiots. They are psychopaths.

  8. Marcus L'Estrange

    OPINION

    Labor’s princeling class licks dole plate clean

    by a News Weekly contributor News Weekly, April 9, 2016

    In March Labor released “Growing Together”, its statement on employment, education and welfare for the next election. It contains a long list of motherhood statements and vague policy proposals reheated from other years.

    All well and good; but it misses a key point. Why have we so much poverty today? The following may supply an answer to that question.

    Two key problems remain from Federal Labor’s last stint in office, when it was led by “Comrades” Gillard, Macklin, Albanese, Swann, Plibersek, Shorten, Wong, Kim Carr, Conroy, Danby and others.

    First is the failure to increase Newstart payments. There had been no real increase in Newstart for 20 years up until Labor’s last term in office, nor did the ALP raise it at all during that six-year term. This opened the way for the Coalition’s proposed vicious Newstart rules in the 2014 and 2015 budgets.

    Labor’s claim that in 2013 that they had to make expenditure choices is nonsense. Increasing the dole should have had priority. However, Labor’s first choice was, of course, a 35 per cent MP salary and allowance increase in 2013. This put an ordinary backbencher in the top 2-3 per cent of income earners in Australia. Frontbenchers are in the top 1 per cent.

    Bill Shorten, in January 2012, told The Australian: “Australia’s social security system needs to provide a strong safety net for people who need financial assistance while also acting as an incentive for people to take up paid work.” Yet if Bill or Anthony “Albo” Albanese and others had bothered to check the real unemployment figures, they would have found the same thing that Senator Penny Wong found.

    Senator Wong, in a March 8, 2007, reply to a letter from the author concerning Australia’s true rate of unemployment, had this to say — while in Opposition to the Howard government:

    “Whilst Labor is always pleased to see the official rate of unemployment drop, and to see more people gaining work, we recognise a great many people do not show up in those figures. For example, one in five part-time workers — some 600,000 people — want more work than they can get.

    “There are also many people who are not in the labour force at all. Around 1.2 million Australians would like to work but for various reasons are not looking. Many of them are discouraged or do not have the skills employers are looking for.

    “When you add these two factors to the nearly 500,000 officially unemployed, we know that there are around 2.3 million Australians who are … unemployed or want more work than they can get. This is a point that I, and a number of Labor members, have made on a number of occasions.”

    Comrade Wong did not withdraw her view when asked in the Senate in late 2011 and when I asked her twice in 2015 at ALP/Fabian Society functions.

    No money? Not so

    Second, if the ALP had closed off many tax loopholes from day one in office (2007), they would have had the funds to increase the dole. But Bill wanted to show “the market” how hairy chested they were when it came to dealing with the unemployed and expenditure.

    So, the ALP decided sole parents would lose the sole-parent pension and go onto the much lower Newstart allowance when their child turns eight. Bill Shorten, who moved the bill, was told by his employment department that many single mothers were already working part time and that their part-time earnings allowed them to continue to receive all or most of the pension, still ploughed on and removed them from the pension when their child turned eight. Bill’s view was that he wanted to get them into the very workforce they were already in!

    His former close friend, Nicola Roxon, also voted for the bill. She retired in 2013 on a pension of $143,000 a year, fully indexed. Her stated reason for retiring was that she wanted to spend more time with her eight-year-old daughter.

    Newstart pays around $13,600 a year, or $37 a day. In 2015, 870,000 Australians lived on $37 a day, because of Bill, Nicola and colleagues.

    This is Bill’s “New Class”, Labor’s Princelings, in action! Frozen between real socialism and raw capitalism, Bill is all over the shop. All this was going on while Bill knew that the employment market figures showed that we had one vacancy for every 20 unemployed persons.

    Yes, I am aware that Labor has now officially acknowledged underemployment, but not of course the real unemployment figures as mentioned in the ABS “Persons not in the labour force” survey. Yes, Labor did increase the Age Pension; but it is still, like the dole, one of the lowest in the developed world.

    Then came the tightening of Disability Support Pension (DSP) requirements under Labor, meaning many on the DSP are now on the lower payment, Newstart, but have no hope of getting a job because of their health problem.

    This “New Class” of ALP politicians, meanwhile, has gotten rich via the old, defined benefits superannuation scheme, liberal travel allowances, and jobs at the top end of town or in the public sector on leaving public office.

    Many of the Labor MPs in 2013 who voted against increasing the dole will also receive $6 million plus from the defined benefits super scheme when they retire.

    “New class” greed unlimited!

  9. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    More reason to 100% government fund Micro-businesses and StartUps so that new ideas and projects can get off the ground and provide self-employment for unemployed and under-employed people. This is especially important as we continue to lose many of our large Australian based industries and hence job opportunities.

  10. michael lacey

    Thanks John!

  11. John Kelly

    Marcus, Labor isn’t perfect and the welfare payments you have highlighted could be better. It is the mindset of politicians generally that see them cringe from being seen to be paying too much to recipients. The LNP are different, however. They delight in being seen to be cheap and nasty, paying as little as possible or nothing, if they could get away with it. So, who would you prefer?

  12. Marcus L'Estrange

    Labor to power with socialist policies.

  13. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Hear, hear Marcus,

    with the addition of a preparedness to work in an effective Alliance with a range of progressive allies in the Greens, progressive micro-parties and sane Independents.

  14. Peter F

    Years ago, the father of a school friend was the head taxation office in one of our capital cities. When he retired, he did so on a fixed pension. He soon campaigned for all pensions to be indexed, on the basis that pensioners spend most of their pension immediately, so the funds go into the economy and this creates demand and therefore jobs. Business will not survive without demand. This government cannot see that all welfare is doing its bit to keep the country working.

  15. mark delmege

    Re the CPI – na rubbish and while the financial press called it a ‘SHOCKER’ it was anything but. Sure heath and education prices rose but because the oil tankers are queueing up around the world we have cheaper fuel – despite the ripoff. That flows through to a range of goods and services and means overall because of the drop in fuel prices we have more money in our pockets – Thats good news but it has nothing to do with government policy.

    However the biggest election pig of all time must be the new – or rather the announced sub deal. These bloated over priced over sized beasts will cost about as much as the NBN but be pretty much useless to us as they try and play hide and seek off the coast of China – for empire.

  16. Michael Taylor

    This is explosive and damaging! I’ve copied it from a Facebook page which had copied it from an article in The Australian – ‘Subs tender a shambles’. If you do nothing else tonight, you must read this.

    The evidence now mounting shows that the submarine tender is one of the most irregular ever conducted in Australia. Defence officials in the US, Japan and Germany are shocked at what is now being revealed.

    Within 24 hours of the tender being announced, both sides are saying different things so, as anyone experienced with tenders knows, that means the deal has every prospect of becoming a disaster. There is mounting evidence that the French do not want to build the first two submarines in Australia. They need to make the first two submarines back home.

    In Paris, they were shocked that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was so definitive in his statement that all 12 submarines would be built in Australia.

    To understand how this bizarre situation developed and the implications that stem from it, we need to go back to the defence white paper which estimated the cost of the 12 submarines at $50bn (we learned later that this is an inflation-adjusted figure).

    At the time, the Japanese were mystified because they knew their tender was less than half that and the German “all local” tender was even lower — probably under $20bn.

    Japanese and German defence tenderers wondered why Australia would use such an inflated figure. Perhaps they were safeguarding themselves against yet another ‘stuff up’. To the Americans, Japanese and Germans, it now looks like it was because the high-cost French tender had already been selected.

    The $50bn figure was repeated in the Australian announcements but it was the French media that released the details that shocked the defence-tendering world.

    The French media were told by their government that some 30 per cent of the expenditure on the submarines, or €8bn, would be spent in France.

    That equates to approximately $12bn which (using 30 per cent of the value) in turn prices the project at $40bn, or roughly in line with the defence white paper estimate.

    The French shipyards are highly unionised and are not regarded as operating at the top levels of global efficiency.

    Nevertheless, when the French declared that they would need 4,000 people to build their 30 per cent of the 12 submarines, it was a huge number. We don’t know how many people would have been involved in the Japanese tender but the Germans made it clear in tender pre-publicity that they could build the 12 submarines in Australia with merely 1,200 people.

    Why would you need 4,000 French workers — three times the number of Australian workers required for the German bid — when 12 submarines are to be built in Australia?

    The other strange aspect of the submarine tender is that the submarines are not going to be delivered until 2033 or 2034. The Germans were offering to have submarines available around 2028.

    But maybe there was something about doing the deal with the French that has not been disclosed. Perhaps a group of defence officials believe longer term that Australia needs nuclear submarines because of their greater range. Given its 15 years before the first submarine arrives, everyone would have forgotten what Malcolm Turnbull said this week. Indeed, he will have retired.

    To build a nuclear submarine in Australia requires a change in the legislation, and a nuclear industry, which we don’t have, although the climate is changing and South Australia looks set to become a nuclear hub.

    When the tender was first announced, I noted that there might be a nuclear agenda but at that stage I had no idea of the tendering mess (Australia’s defence options open up, April 27).

    If it’s a nuclear submarine that Australia wanted, then it would have only been fair the other tenderers know about it and be given an opportunity to include a nuclear option.

  17. bobrafto

    I read some of the interview somewhere and Abbott said the French have a ‘blood debt’ to us??????

    And along this line, Bolt to Abbott ‘would you have a French or a Japanese sailor in the trenches with you fighting the Chinese?

    yea, let’s have some sailors in the trenches.

    According to Bolt, the French can’t be trusted for an event that happened in 1939 but the Japs can be trusted even though they wanted to invade us.

    And one wonders of the deals done to give the Japs the sub deal that has Bolt and Abbott casting aspersions on the French.

    One also wonders if we can’t get enough crew to man the 6 Collins subs, how the fcuk are we gonna get crew for 12 subs, maybe 457 visas.

  18. bobrafto

    oh dear, my comment above was for a Rossleigh article, The Abbott Error.
    .

  19. paul walter

    I wonder if Michael Taylor’s story will disappear from newspapers like others recently. If it’s real world news, it seems harder to find through msm.

    The moment Turnbull is re-elected he will drop every promise he has ever made and then a few more, anyway.

  20. Jaquix

    Apparently Jay Weatherill, Premier of South Sustralia, went to France immediately but appeared to be snubbed. Certainly no red carpet came out. Odd if true?

  21. paul walter

    Gee, it is starting to look like though-bubble policy on the run again, with the actual substance a concealed mystery.

    FTA’s, anyone?

  22. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Why aren’t they supporting renewable energy technology even if applied to submarines? The whole thing stinks especially the emphasis on nuclear.

  23. amarkone

    WTF stop it I’m getting bloody depressed. Madame Defarge spelled Greg Hunts name with a C but I’m very certain we will all know who she means come the revolution.

  24. Aortic

    You mean Creg Hunt?

  25. Wayne Turner

    It’s also how you could describe those who still support this government,when it is against their own self interest,but ignorantly think it is in their interest.

    The ignorant,gullible and non-thinkers aided by the Libs MSM produced this lying pathetic mob.

  26. Noel Gilbert

    Marcus, three years on and you still seek to blame the current mess as being created by labor? this is sad.

  27. Deanna Jones

    Noel, is he blaming the current mess on Labor? That social security amendment legislation was one of far-reaching brutality. Labor lost me completely that year. We keep waiting for them to do better but we shouldn’t hold our breath.

  28. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I’m with you, Deanna and Marcus. That was the year I knew Labor no longer cared for struggling everyday people too.

    However, I’m prepared to give Labor another go, if I see substantial emphasis on improving conditions for all Welfare recipients.

    That means, in terms of Newstart, a dignified and livable increase to the Newstart payment; the complete removal of the Jobs Network system that treats ALL vulnerable unemployed like dumb bludgers; and a complete return to Centrelink overseen equitable job sourcing and welfare payment procedures, so that ALL welfare money goes to the recipients and NOT the filthy retail recruitment agencies getting rich at poor people’s expense!

  29. Peter

    John, this is a great article. However, it is interesting how sometimes trivial things get into my brain, and probably many others, so the point of the article is subverted. For me, it was the use of “infer” in the line above Roy Morgan research. imply / infer. Imply and infer are opposites, like a throw and a catch. To imply is to hint at something, but to infer is to make an educated guess. The speaker does the implying, and the listener does the inferring. Bad use of the language tends to throw off track.

    Having got that out of my brain, thanks again for your blog.

  30. Marcus L'Estrange

    Noel, I blame Labor for the inexcusable treatment of those on welfare when in Government. Under the Liberals it is much worse. My main concern that if Labor returns to government which I hope they do they don’t have clear policies regarding welfare beyond motherhood statements.

  31. Jaquix

    Marcus you have really answered your own question – which party is likely to treat welfare recipients better. “Under the Liberals it is much worse”. You have to choose the party you think will look after people better, and that has never been the Liberals. None are perfect. I think also we need to recognise that the last Labor govt suffered a lot of stress and strain for a variety of reasons (yet managed to get a huge amount of legislation through. Under those circumstances not everything is going to be as good as it might be otherwise) You also have to look at the other things the Libs are really good at, like legislating against transparency. Look at how many Ministers Abbott\Turnbull have had to demote to the backbenches, in the last 3 years. And MT then gave mate Arthur Sinodinos a plum job, even while he is still under investigation for seriously fraudulent misuse of funds under his watch in NSW. A lot of skullduggery going on in the Liberal ranks, plus they are divided internally. Bill Shorten has managed to unite his team and they actually talk sense, not just spin.

  32. Marcus L'Estrange

    Agree.

  33. Backyard Bob

    You have to choose the party you think will look after people better

    Based on that criterion alone, I’d have to vote Greens. But of course I don’t vote on the basis of any single criterion. There’s an inherent philosophical problem with the “lesser of two evils” approach to voting. Put simply, it’s that such an approach doesn’t take into account that both choices (assuming we’re realistically faced with an actual dichotomy) may reach a stage where neither meets our personal moral standard for looking after people. The fact that it may always be worse under the Coalition is irrelevant to this particular problem, and indeed is a potentially dangerous way to perceive things.

    I imagine there are a number of somewhat disenchanted and disenfranchised Labor supporters who already feel they’ve reached this point (at least on a number of fronts). The obvious and usual riposte to the “lesser of two evils” issue is, of course, “Even the lesser of two evils is still an evil.”

    I guess my point is, really, that saying it’ll always be worse under the Coalition is a kind of false economy. It tends to distract us from the problem of Labor’s own failings. Certainly mouthpieces for Labor would like us take the “always worse under the LNP” stance, but I’m not going to. Labor only has to be incrementally better for this claim to remain true, but even where it is true it’s possible for Labor to actually be terrible.

    For me, I want the seeming truism of, “It’ll always be worse under the LNP.” to be able to be expressed as, “It’ll always be far, far worse under the LNP.” I want Labor to be better by far than the LNP, not just better.

    Currently, on most fronts, it seems possible for Labor to be able to use the “far, far” version, but I think the grounds for that are disturbingly tenuous and it’s also helped by how utterly shite this current Government is. (which tends to skew the perception of Labor’s superiority a touch).

    The price of a fine ALP is eternal vigilance. Or the Special Joining Rate of $25.00.

  34. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    ByB,

    I couldn’t have put it better myself!

  35. Kyran

    With regard to the submarine contract, an interesting article has come up in kangaroo court.
    “the French company DCNS which has won the $50 billion contract is currently under investigation by a French court for bribing Malaysian officials to win their submarine contract in 2002.”

    “Another suspicious element of the Australian tender is that DCNS employed former Liberal staffer Sean Costello as its CEO for the bid. Mr Costello was chief-of-staff for former Defence Minister David Johnston who was sacked from his position in 2014.”

    “DCNS did not employ Sean Costello for no reason and given their past of buying “classified Malaysian navy defence documents” it is highly likely they wanted first hand knowledge of Australian Defence documents. The type of documents that Sean Costello had access to when he was chief-of-staff for former Defence Minister David Johnston.”

    “The questions for Australia are:
    1.Who in the Liberal Party and/or government said it would be OK for Sean Costello to leave his Liberal Party/government position and become CEO of DCNS in Australia?
    2.When did Sean Costello leave his government position and when did he start with DCNS.
    3.What background checks did the Liberal Party do in relation to DCNS? From what I can tell no one bothered to even do an internet search, is that correct?
    4.Was the Federal Government aware of the Malaysian Submarine bribery scandal involving DCNS before awarding the $50 billion Australian submarine contract? It so what did the government do?
    5.Was the Federal Government aware of the other past bribery scandals involving DCNS? It so what did the government do?
    6.Has Mr Costello donated to the Liberal Party and if so how much?
    7.Has DCNS donated to the Liberal Party or any of its slush funds?
    8.How much is Sean Costello being paid?
    9.Was he paid a bonus for winning the Australian Submarine contract?
    10.Were there any other people paid bonuses for winning the Australian Submarine contract? If there were, who and how much?”

    Bribery allegations against Australia’s $50 billion submarine contract winner

    The full article is well worth a look. Just when you think this rabble can be dismissed as a mere collective of idiots, you get reminded that they are inherently corrupt as well. Thank you, Mr Kelly and Mr Taylor.

  36. mark delmege

    Cheers for that Kyran. On another level … The Malaysian deal might explain why Indonesia recently announced that it too would be in the hunt for 20 (I think) new submarines. But they might all be pretty useless when they can be found so easily –

  37. Kyran

    Seems to me, Mr Delmege, there is so much that is questionable when it comes to defence spending. Yet our ‘leaders’ insist that they know better and we are being un-patriotic to even suspect their motives.
    As I understand it, we can only crew half of the Collins class subs we already have. Most of the Collins class have needed ongoing modifications to make sure they can actually go under water for extended periods. I gather the advantage with nuclear power is the time they can spend underwater. Wait for that announcement.
    Spanish firm Navantia got the job for building two new supply ships. 3,000 Spanish jobs. Navantia Australia Pty Ltd is a going concern. If we use the DCNS model, our defence forces could have contracted Navantia’s expertise to do the manufacturing here. Yes, I know there is some confusion as to whether the first two subs will be built in France. We have talcum’s assurance they will all be built here. And his word is good enough, isn’t it? It’s not like he’s a politician or a lawyer or a banker. He’s trustworthy, isn’t he?
    So, to recap, we deal with suspect overseas companies and give our ‘military elite’ oversight of the chequebook. To make sure of the integrity of the system, we don’t question them or their decisions, because it’s a matter of national security.
    Seriously, it’s not like they are going to commit to billions of dollars of spending on planes that can’t fly is it?

    http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=7&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjM4c6wr7jMAhWCqqYKHe-PAwMQFgg9MAY&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.abc.net.au%2Fradionational%2Fprograms%2Fbackgroundbriefing%2F2016-03-06%2F7224562&usg=AFQjCNEnM-bz2iTFM7zPVtEL0Fz6nBbAMg

    It’s not like we need the money for anything else, is it?
    Apologies for the derailment, Mr Kelly. Take care

  38. mark delmege

    anyway it all comes down to their purpose and the role they will play (or not be capable of playing). And the only one I can see at the mo is to win some votes in Adelaide in 2016. And while we might be able to weld some metal together and assemble in the years to come I imagine the really important stuff will be imported.

  39. Kyran

    Cheers for that Mr Delmege.
    “Defence is the only large department that is effectively exempt from Treasury and Finance scrutiny, even though taxpayers would benefit greatly from sharper cost-effectiveness studies.”
    It seems my madness is not a solitary thing. The commitment to spending 2% of GDP on defence is an aspiration that should, reasonably, be subject to the most diligent oversight. That is one very big blank cheque. Private companies doing business with politicians using our money and relying on senior ADF ‘advisors’ for oversight. What could go wrong?
    Take care

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