. . . it’s hard even to be surprised. An economist has finally done the sums on how much money the government has pork-barelled away to keep itself in power. ANZ Bank chief economist Saul Eslake reckons over the past four years the government has revised its tax intake estimates upwards by $97.5 billion. But over the same period, the government has put in place policy initiatives costing $98.8 billion. Eslake puts it rather bluntly for an economist:
The resources boom has dropped $100 billion into the Government’s lap that they hadn’t expected in 2002 and they’ve spent all of it and a bit more. And I honestly and genuinely struggle to find anything that has been done with it bar win elections.
Instead of tax cuts and handouts, he reckons, it could have been saved up or spent on useful stuff like infrastructure — you know, the stuff that actually increases productivity, unlike, say, industrial relations laws that most economists agree make no difference to productivity.
I’ve got nothing against the Government as such but the resource boom has handed them a great opportunity on a plate. They’ve spent the money and as far as I can see they’ve not created anything of lasting value.
It’s just criminal what we’ve let these bastards get away with.