Of all the handouts, in whatever form, be it the Sports Rorts or others, the most blatant has been the $38 billion that went to employers that did not suffer sustained downturns below the required threshold levels, new data reveals.
Yes, that’s correct; the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) found at least $38 billion of taxpayers money was transferred to the private sector through JobKeeper.
Labor MP Dr Andrew Leigh, who is casting a forensic look over the program, told the ABC that:
“Every dollar paid out on JobKeeper needs to be paid by Australians, either in the form of higher taxes, lower services or more debt.”
Nothing I have read has been critical of the scheme itself; most have praised it. However, there is no doubt that it had some real problems, and it didn’t contain a section or clause that would have prevented this astonishing amount from being given away for basically nothing or being paid back, for that matter.
Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said a recent report showed the pandemic heavily impacted businesses that received JobKeeper:
“It saved lives and livelihoods and supported more than four million Australians and a million businesses during the greatest economic shock since the Great Depression.”
Well, that’s great, but it still evades the question of how $38 billion in JobKeeper funds found its way into businesses that shouldn’t have received it.
If they were gracious enough to say it was an oversight, they would cop a bit of flack but, in turn, would be appreciated for their honesty.
But crikey, $38 billion is a lot of our money to be giving away.
“$1.3b went to companies where turnover tripled during the quarter for which they claimed JobKeeper… And a further $1.3b was paid to companies that doubled their quarterly turnover. “
Dr Leigh told the ABC:
“We had firms that were doubling or tripling their revenues, and yet still getting money from Josh Frydenberg.”
“At a time at which he should have been a frugal custodian of the nation’s finances, he was spraying money around like a Formula 1 winner spraying champagne over the crowd.”
University of New South Wales economics professor Richard Holden said:
“… the scheme did its job and it was the right call not to adjust JobKeeper for six months.
“The idea was to provide certainty in a time of radical uncertainty.”
“And the way you provide certainty is to make something simple, clear and not subject to change within a certain timeframe.”
We live in a failed system. Capitalism does not allow for an equitable flow of economic resources. With this system a small privileged few are rich beyond conscience and almost all others are doomed to be poor at some level.
Under the Coalitions “Need to know” philosophy, the ordinary punter cannot find out just who the beneficiaries of this enormous sum of money were.
The ABC reported at the time that:
“Treasurer Josh Frydenberg was alerted less than three months into JobKeeper that businesses were getting taxpayer support while increasing their turnovers.”
Such is their paranoia they won’t allow the tax office to disclose the names of the companies who benefited from Treasurer Frydenberg’s mistake. True, some have come clean and revealed what they got, but the majority have not. Were donors involved? We may never know.
Some have, in “the Australian way,” returned the money as a matter of conscience. The reader may recall that the programme’s cost was reduced by half when Treasury informed Frydenberg that they had made an error. The cost of the program has been nearly halved from $130 billion to about $70 billion.
Just why we aren’t allowed to know who the offending companies are is beyond me. Sometimes they act like a police state with all this lack of transparency and secrecy. These days it isn’t easy to find information under FOI.
The governments words and actions bring into question the very essence of the word truth. Or they have at least devalued it to the point of obsolescence.
Imagine how emboldened they will be if they win the next election.
With another win under their belts, one doesn’t need a vivid imagination to see how they would take it as a licence to rip the joint asunder. I dare not overthink about it lest I break out in a cold sweat.
The Coalition “must win 33 of the 48 seats on offer in WA and Queensland” to maintain the status quo.
Given the performance of what one can only describe as a corrupt, disgusting government, you might even be forgiven for thinking that Labor is in with a chance against this teflon-coated Coalition.
However, making it just a fraction easier has been the Prime Ministers erratic behaviour. It is disingenuous for the Australian Prime Minister to invoke patriotism and nationalism in defence of the accusation that he lied to France, and his shouty response is also noteworthy.
He is not my sort of leader, but for those who like to be led in his lecture come bossy style, it’s a winning one.
French President Macron branded him a liar, and he disowned some of our exporters with his misplaced diplomacy toward China. On top of that, the American President has called him clumsy, and in an Australian context, I would suggest he is a fool. He seeks permanency of power through his interpretation of righteousness.
His shouty response to accusations is also noteworthy, and never in my eighty years has an Australian Prime Minister leaked against an international leader.
The next poll will determine just what the people think of his brand of diplomacy.
My thought for the day
One of the oddities of political polling is trying to understand how 48% to 50% of the voting public would willingly return a party that has governed so abysmally.
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