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Pollution and bombs or hospitals and schools?

Scott Morrison has said he wants to hear from anyone with ideas on how to cut government spending.

Here’s a few.

Fossil fuel subsidies

The OECD said its 34 members plus six of the biggest emerging economies – China, India, Brazil, Indonesia, Russia and South Africa – were spending up to $200bn a year supporting the consumption and production of coal, oil and gas.

That’s twice as much as was needed to meet the climate-finance objectives set by the international community at climate change summits, which have set a target of mobilising $100bn a year by 2020.

Defence spending

In the 2015–16 Budget, the Government reaffirmed its commitment to growing the Defence budget to two per cent of GDP within a decade.

The Government will provide Defence with $31.9 billion in 2015–16 and $132.6 billion over the Forward Estimates.

That does not include defence materiel whose 2014-15 Budget Estimate was $12.6bn. Why do we need strike force capability? I would have thought a car industry would be a better investment than at attack force.

We have just signed a $665 million contract for a new “telecommunications provider to the battlefield that will increase flexibility and interoperability in the field, giving commanders increased capability to share information and increased responsiveness. “

Meanwhile the rest of us endure copper broadband and mobile blackspots.

Politicians’ entitlements

At about half a billion dollars a year, this is one area that can surely come up with some savings and, considering recent scandals, would be well received by a cynical public.

It should not cost half a million to fit out an office. Use telecommunications more rather than flying hither and yon for a chat and a photo. Build an accommodation wing at Parliament House and save on comcars at the same time. Family reunions should be paid for by the family. Catch commercial flights rather than summoning private jets. And stop wasting so much money on spin doctors.

The hundreds of billions shelled out for these things do nothing to improve productivity so let’s get genuine about looking at the benefit for what we spend.

Pollution and bombs or hospitals and schools?



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  1. Kaye Lee

    Interesting day…this is more like it.

    Coalition with $100 million for domestic violence.

    Labor announcing money for startups, entrepreneurs, and university graduates to develop ideas. Money for teacher upskilling with maths and science focus. Jobs of the future.

    Soooo much better than stop the boats and axe the tax. Both parties are going to have to work harder. Are we seeing the beginning of actual policy debate?

  2. Wally

    “growing the Defence budget to two per cent of GDP”

    Why would you tie any budget measure to a percentage of GDP rather than a percentage of government revenue?

    Seems illogical to me when government revenue is not a fixed percentage of GDP but of course if people knew the percentage of the budget that was spent (wasted) on defence they would be horrified.

  3. Kaye Lee

    In 2014 ASPI found that we spend $80,281,391.78 per DAY on defence.

    “The figure of $80,281,391.78 represents one three-hundred-and-sixty-fifth of reported Total Defence Funding for financial year 2014–15. This does not include funds appropriated to the Defence Housing Authority, those administered by Defence for military superannuation schemes and housing support services, nor the additional funds provided directly to the Defence Materiel Organisation.”

    It’s an eye-opening document

  4. Neil of Sydney

    You know one day you lefties might get want you want. A returned ALP govt.

    Will debt go down. No that does not happen under ALP govts.

    Will unemployment go down. No that does not happen under ALP govts.

    Will the economy improve. No that does not happen under ALP govts.

  5. Roswell

    Well Neil, it certainly hasn’t improved under a Liberal government over the last two years. Debt has gone up, unemployment has gone up, and the economy has worsened.

    But I guess that’s all Labor’s fault.

  6. Kaye Lee


    Unemployment is a problem this country is facing….not a bloody competition. Do you ever make positive suggestions about ways to address problems? They are saying that 40% of jobs will be lost in the not to distance future due to technological advances like automation, robotics, and that new buzzword “disruption”.

    Today I have heard small signs of co-operation coming from the two major party leaders. How about you join in the collaborative effort to help rather than repetitive competitive pointless carping.

  7. Roswell

    So he’s boring you as much as he’s boring me?

    I really don’t know why I let his comments through. I probably only do it so the rest of the world can see what an idiot he is.

  8. Roswell

    I’ve had enough of him. Seriously. The first comment up on yesterday’s Democracy post was Neil telling us that Labor locked up 2,000 children and that Labor destroyed the car manufacturing industry in Australia. We’ve heard all that before. His comment didn’t get through by the way.

    I think he’s trying to test us.

    I really don’t have time for his crap. I’m over it.

  9. Felicitas

    Hi Roswell, You do realise that you’ve probably added to Australia’s unemployment numbers don’t you? NoS only gets paid according to what he can get published. By cutting off his crap you have put him in a situation where he will have to take Hockey’s advice and get a job.

  10. pilgrim

    I do not think Australia should be spending so much money on looking for the Malaysian Airlines plane that disappeared. Given that there are serious doubts about the Malaysian government’s response to the news, and the steps that were taken, I suggest that Malaysia be allowed to take responsibility for the search. To me, our involvement was all about Abbott’s grandstanding and we have already made a fair contribution..

  11. Kaye Lee

    I agree pilgrim. We could help offer scientific analysis on barnacles and such, but the identification of the part is probably all the closure we will get. It crashed.

  12. Roswell

    You raise a good point, Felicitas. I hadn’t considered that Neil might be getting paid to toll, and it wouldn’t surprise me. It all makes sense now.

    Anyway, I don’t get paid to moderate. So if I’m not going to earn anything then neither is he.

  13. Roswell

    Paid to troll, not toll.

  14. Kaye Lee

    Not a revenue problem huh?

    One in five privately-owned companies with revenue in excess of $100 million paid no tax last year, the Australian Tax Office has revealed.

    The figure emerged as the Turnbull government pushes ahead with plans to exempt private companies from new regulations forcing them to publicly disclose their annual tax contribution.

    Go after those guys and I will pay a 1% rise in the medicare levy….how’s that for a compromise?

  15. Möbius Ecko

    Let’s not forget that under the ChAFTA China will be able to bring in Chinese workers abrogating Australian working conditions so not only putting tax paying and local consumers out of work but employing workers who will most certainly send most of their earning back home and spend the minimum amount to live here.

    More forgone revenue.

  16. John Kelly

    Dump direct Action and introduce an emissions trading scheme.

  17. Wally

    John Kelly

    We need an emissions trading scheme and the scope should include carbon that we export such as coal.
    Paying up front would negate the right extremists cries that the largest polluters do not pay for carbon emissions.

    If implemented correctly an emissions trading scheme could reduce taxes.
    Instead of providing foreign aid from taxation revenues without any return to Australia we could provide funding if forestry is maintained.
    If it was more beneficial financially to retain natural forests that it is to cut it down for palm oil plantations natural forests would be preserved.
    As well as helping combat global warming this would also help reduce the extinction of animal species.
    Poor people could put food on the table by planting trees and living the way they have traditionally.

  18. mars08

    Off topic… slightly…

    Do you think Abbott got to keep his shiny, cool, macho bomber jacket from his Top Gun tour?

  19. Kaye Lee

    I really hope it was a one time wear 🙁 Not all wardrobe malfunctions involve nipples. Just ask Andrew Downer and Cheryl Kernot.

  20. Len Botterill

    Given that the tax office is going after Chevron atm to the tune of $322 million, l agree Kate that there is a lot of revenue “missing”. It becomes a question of standing up to the corporatocracy, and a much stronger national and global resolve is needed.

  21. Keitha Granville

    you’d think the ALP would be falling over themselves to knock off the entitlements – they would be guaranteed government !

  22. Paddy Forsayeth

    Tax the rich! There’s a three word slogan which should be on the pollies lips. The super rich distort society and should be brought into line. I can see no justification for individuals squirreling away billions. Could someone please explain to me why we allow such huge inequalities in income.

  23. Möbius Ecko

    Hunt has now back flipped on two major environment areas he was against or didn’t contradict under Abbott, and Hunt has blamed Abbott for his previous anti-environment policy stances.

    Apparently wind farms are now back in favour and Hunt has always like them.

  24. Kaye Lee

    Leyjonhelm has threatened war if they back wind. I heard Hunt. He kept saying we will honour our commitment to the backbench – the CEFC should be for emerging technologies and we will have a wind commissioner to listen to the public’s concerns. Another high paid waste of space while the disabled have no voice.

  25. Mercurial

    I’d like to know which ‘battlefield’ will be the next one, and why we need to improve communications on it.

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