Friday, 21 October 2016

Is "Yes, Minister" syndrome rampant in the Turnbull Government?

In the face of this……

The Guardian, 3 October 2016:

The Coalition, contrary to all perceptions, has been spending at an alarming rate. 

In 2012-13, the last full year of the previous Labor government, the ratio of government spending to GDP was 24.1%. 

In 2014-15, this had risen to 25.6% and, in 2015-16, it rose to 25.7% of GDP. 

The 1.6% of GDP blowout in spending between 2012-13 and 2015-16 is about $26bn and accounts for more than the blowout in the deficit from the time of the 2014 budget.

The deficit blowout fed into the level of government debt as it had to ramp up its borrowing to cover the ever growing shortfall.

Net government debt rose to $296.4bn at June 2016, up from $153bn in June 2013 just before the Coalition took power. 

As a share of GDP, net government debt has risen from 10% to 18%, just off the all-time high in the wake of the second world war. 

When the 2016 Myefo is released before year end, net government debt will be at a 60-year high and rising.

Gross government debt, according to the final budget outcome documents, rose to $420.4bn, or 25.5% of GDP, in June 2016. This is at the highest since 1971-72 when the Vietnam war effort was being funded.

And this......

The Australian Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee was informed on 19 October 2016 that all public health cost-cutting measures previously supported by the Turnbull Government are still being progressed as policy.

The Turnbull Government is doing this…..

The Sydney Morning Herald, 19 October 2016:

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spent an estimated $215,000 or more sending nearly two dozen senior bureaucrats from Canberra to Paris to attend an inhouse talkfest about ways to save money.

Fairfax Media can reveal the two day junket in September included business class return travel for all 23 DFAT officers.

They included John Philp, Australia's former ambassador to Afghanistan and current first assistant secretary of the consular and crisis management division and John Fisher, first assistant secretary of DFAT's corporate management division.

But the entourage, which was hosted for the two day conference by Australia's ambassador to France, Stephen Brady, included a departmental psychologist, a conduct and ethics manager, and a health and safety officer, according to a list of attendees obtained by Fairfax Media.

According to the Qantas website, the cheapest business class "saver" ticket to Paris costs $3800 one-way, indicating the group of 23 cost at least $175,000 in airfares alone for the 48-hour jaunt.

The group stayed at the four-star Mercure Paris Centre Eiffel Tower Hotel where standard rooms for mid-week business travellers start at $530 a night, according to booking websites…..

That figure does not include the as yet unknown cost of getting more than two dozen Europe-based diplomatic staff to Paris.

The conference, hosted at the Australian embassy just near the Eiffel Tower, was held to discuss a project known internally as "Redesign" and aimed at "streamlining work and improving efficiencies at posts in Europe", according to DFAT.

According to a source familiar with the September 7 to 9 conference, some Australian-based participants wondered why the conference could not have been held via a cheaper and perhaps more agile fashion like video conferencing…..

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