Last November the Liberal Party released a publication called The little book of big Labor waste, which you can gain access to here. Their introduction was a bit sloppy:
The Coalition has today released a book listing the top 50 examples of Labor waste and mismanagement since the overnight coup that installed Julia Gillard as Prime Minister.
The little book of big Labor waste shows that waste and mismanagement was not just a feature of the Rudd Labor Government; it is also a hallmark of the Gillard Labor Government.
I am grateful to Jason W for exposing how sloppy it really was and allowing me to publish his responses to the claims made. It’s a bit of a read, but hard to put down. I’ve also added a few comments, which are highlighted in blue. Let’s start:
Claim: “The Rudd-Gillard Government has been the most financially reckless government in Australian history”.
Response: Really? Then why is it, that an IMF paper is reporting that Howard was far more profligate in his spending, and had made more decisions worth over a billion dollars than the Labor government, in his budget?
“In 2007, Labor inherited a government with net worth totaling $70 billion. All that has now been squandered – all gone”.
Howard achieved a surplus by reckless selling of public assets and with huge cuts. Labor had to face the Global Financial Crisis and had to stimulate the economy with spending that created the deficit.
Thanks to Labor, Australia now ha a government $147.3 billion of net debt – the biggest debt in Australian history! We are now paying almost $20 million a day in interest to service that debt.
What? The biggest debt, as a percentage of the GDP, was in the Hawke-Keating debt. Half of which was inherited from Malcolm Fraser!
In fact, under the leadership of Julia Gillard, the list of waste and mismanagement is increasing at an alarming rate. From the multiple billion dollar blow outs in the immigration portfolio to gold plated coffee machines for bureaucrats, the litany of waste is staggering.
Gold plated coffee machines? This already reeks of sensationalism.
What Labor does best is rack-up debt through waste and mismanagement – it’s in their DNA. The only way to stop Labor’s waste and pay back the debt is to change the government.
The debt is a manageable percentage of the GDP, and can be paid back within 4 years without austerity measures.
Labor’s failed border protection policies and Julia Gillard’s stubborn refusal to re-introduce the full suite of proven Howard Government policies that stopped the boats has resulted in an immigration budget blow out of $6.6 billion in the last four years. This does not include the full cost of reopening detention centres in Nauru and Manus Island and increasing the refugee intake to 20,000 people per year.
Border Protection? The boats still came during Howard’s time, they didn’t stop completely. As Malcolm Fraser noted, the only way to stop the boats is to let them in via humanitarian camps, which are cheaper to run than border patrol and detention centres.
NBN Co’s revised corporate plan reveals that Labor’s broadband policy is way behind schedule and way over budget. There has been a $4.6 billion blowout in the operating and capital expenses, and indirect operating expense – primarily staff costs – have more than doubled from $3.7 billion to $7.8 billion. In all, the total cost of the NBN has increased $3.2 billion, from $40.9 billion to $44.1 billion.
What about the coalition’s copper cable plans, which includes power exhaustive nodes, and will fail during times of flood. This investment is definitely worth the sacrifice, as it will develop infrastructure and create jobs. “Shit Happens” – Tony Abbott.
Labor is spending $69.5 million advertising the carbon tax, a tax Julia Gillard emphatically ruled out introducing before the last election.
First of all, it’s the CARBON PRICE, not a tax. Gillard did promise a carbon price. Second of all, it’s natural for a government to inform its populace of changes. This is to avoid misinformation and lies from being circulated.
Labor’s panicked reaction to an ABC Four Corners story threw the cattle industry into chaos, resulting an a $100 million assistance package. If Labor had stuck by its original decision to restrict live trade, instead of reacting to the a Get-up! Campaign, the need for an assistance package could have been avoided.
So we should just let animal cruelty reign? Of course, the subsidy is STATISTICALLY INSIGNIFICANT compared to government revenue, which stands at a total of 267 billion dollars.
Labor’s bungling of the Australia Network tender cost taxpayers at least $2 million as the Government was forced to compensate Sky News. An Auditor General report into the tender found the process “brought into question the Government’s ability to deliver such a sensitive process fairly and effectively”.
Then isn’t the flaw technically due to the process of competition, and corporate laws? Again, statistically insignificant.
The current CEO said the $100 million a year in funding was too much for the body to manage efficiently. “It is actually impossible to spend that amount of money responsibly”, he said (in relation to the Carbon capture and storage facility).
Then why had $122 million dollars already been spent at the time, with the government defending their decisions to cut funding?
Taxpayers forked out more than $30 million in market research since Julia Gillard became Prime Minister in June 2010. This is double what Kevin Rudd spent in his two and a half years as Prime Minister.
Please explain John Howard’s actions, when he paid a billion dollars to US corporations to fund their spending.
Taxpayers are spending about $150 million a year on an army of spin doctors to sell Labor policies. There is now about 1600 staff employed by federal departments and agencies in media, communications, marketing and public affairs roles. Yet again, Labor’s focus on spin over substance is coming at a huge cost to the taxpayer.
Spin over substance? Coming from the LNP, I find this comment highly hypocritical. It seems like all they do is put out misinformation and spin. Besides, without people putting out facts, anyone’s reputation can be trashed. Just look at what happened to Gough Whitlam, and MSM.
$1.3 million was spent on payouts to terminated staff immediately following Kevin Rudd’s political assassination, and a further $5.5 million following the subsequent election. Australians didn’t just wake up to a new Prime Minister on 24 June 2010; they also awoke to a massive payout bill.
There would’ve been a mass desertion, if Kevin Rudd was not voted out. That might entail a bit more payouts. $6.8 million is not a “massive bill”, compared to the total tax revenue. Much more was being lost due to the number of Public Servants who couldn’t work under Kevin Rudd. The staff were dropping like flies.
Labor’s Clean Energy Regulator, better known as the ‘Carbon Cop’, has spent $4.4 million sprucing up its new offices. This comes after it was revealed the Department of Climate Change office rent jumped $1.3 million a year to $25.2 million under a newly signed five-year lease.
Give the poor public servants a break. They’ve been instrumental in reducing emissions by 8.6%. Oh, and Howard spent $18.4 million, over all those years, to maintain Kirribilli house.
Kevin Rudd spent $1.2 million on overseas travel in his first month as Foreign Minister, after being dumped as Prime Minister. It was obvious Julia Gillard preferred Kevin Rudd out of the country, but it came as a huge cost to taxpayers.
John Howard spent $7 million traveling between The Lodge and Kirribilli house. At least Rudd achieved diplomatic progress in his travels. What has Howard achieved by traveling at such a frequency?
Labor donated $10 million of taxpayer’s money to trade unions to train upcoming union leaders in its 2011-12 budget. This followed Kevin Rudd’s union donation in the 2010-11 budget. Unions have now been fully compensated for their $20 million donation to Labor at the 2007 election.
If you don’t pay it back, it’s called stealing. I thought the LNP empathised.
Labor will spend $20 million on a propaganda campain about the National Broadband Network in a desperate attempt to paint over the waste and mismanagement of the $44 billion off-budget project.
Waste and mismanagement? The LNP’s plans involving copper wires is not suited to the present day, far too expensive compared to fibre optics, and very exhaustive to maintain. Where’s the costings for the LNP’s repeated attempts to berate the LNP in ads, smear campaigns, etc?
Labor is wasting $67 million on administration costs to run a program to install set top boxes in people’s homes for an average of $350 each, even though Harvey Norman offers customers the same deal for $168.
The scheme is actually for pensioners, who are needy people. They most likely do not have the ability to install the top boxes, and some cannot even afford to pay for one, with what savings they have.
Labor has repaid the groups who have been the loudest supporters of the carbon tax by donating $3 million in grants to those who formed the backbone of the “Say Yes” climate change campaign, such as the Climate Institute, the Australian Conservation Foundation and Climate Works Australia.
At least they’re trying to help the environment and not dismissing climate change as “absolute crap”. What does the LNP have? A “direct-action” scheme already dismissed as a fraud by Al Gore?
$1 million was wasted holding a tax forum demanded by Independent Rob Oakeshott, another talkfest that delivered no results.
Oh really, then why is Oakeshott describing it as a success? Results includes the tax-free threshold being raised to $21,000 dollars, and an institute being set up for research into taxation. That is not “no results”.
Despite being unable to deliver a system that doctors can actually use, the National E-Heath Transition Authority still managed to spend $4.3 million on travel in 2011-12 and more than $1 million on events, conferences and dinners in five-star hotels.
Nonsense. There already was a version put out that doctors COULD use. A simplified version is now made as a beta built, and is being subject to trials.
To go with its new office, the Department of Climate Change is expected to purchase a suite of shiny new appliances for Julia Gillard’s ‘carbon cop’, including 23 bar fridges, 14 dishwashers, 26 microwaves, two ovens, two cooktops, two wall mounted range hoods and a 40-bottle wine cabinet.
Looks like the LNP is splitting hairs, there was already a point about spending on public servants. Aside from that, so what? The public servants are just going to sit there in some dingy, unfurnished sweatshop? When I joined the Public Service Howard was Prime Minister. All departments had those appliances.
Julia Gillard’s carbon tax has had an immediate impact on her electricity bills at The Lodge, with the July 2012 bill increasing 25% from the previous July 2011 bill. As the bill clearly states, there is $660 worth of carbon tax payments (including GST), some 12% of the total bill. But unlike ordinary Australian families, she won’t need to worry about how to pay for it – that will be picked up by the taxpayer.
Firstly, The Lodge is for the taxpayer to foot regardless of who is in power. Secondly, the effect of paying for The Lodge, to the taxpayer, is minimal. Thirdly, would Abbott stop whinging if he himself was in The Lodge? Fourthly, if one removes overseas travel from expenses, then Abbott actually spends FAR more than Gillard in terms of personal spending. (Gillard has to go on diplomatic trips, that’s part of her job). Abbott spends $380,000 more, factoring out travel overseas. Who’s straining the taxpayer more? What’s he doing traveling overseas, anyway, as opposition leader?
Fair Work Australia has spent more than $1.8 million on outside on outside legal and accounting advice for its investigation into the rorting of HSU funds, including $1.3 million on external legal advice, $100,000 on external accounting advice, $430,000 on KPMG’s review of the investigation.
Keep in mind, it is the LNP and Mainstream media who are pressing the charge and vilifying Thomson, so they are technically responsible for the costs.
The $1.8 million does not include the cost to taxpayers of launching FWA’s court action against Labor MP, Craig Thomson. The court action followed FWA’s findings that Mr Thomson had used FWA funds to pay for escort services and other improper purposes.
Craig Thomson’s wrongdoings were as a member of a union, not as a member of the Labor Party. All criminal persecutions should be followed through. It would be inappropriate to drop a case simply for the reason of saving money.
Labor spent $1.03 million researching the effectiveness of Julia Gillard’s taxpayer funded carbon tax advertising campaign. This follows revelations that Labor has installed a secret spin team charged with selling the carbon tax at a cost of $1 million a year.
More split hairs. The ‘carbon tax’ team is supposed to provide information to the general population, as any good government should, come time for major changes.
Labor wasted more than $5 million on its failed Malaysian deal, including $360,000 refurbishing motels in Malaysia, almost $50,000 on rent, $4.6 million in operating costs, $272,000 on its legal defence in the High Court and another $200,000 on “accrued costs”.
More split hairs. The deal was scuttled by the High Court as a result of lack of ethics in Malaysia and complaints from human rights lawyers. One cannot blame Labor for trying. Besides, the $5 million is statistically insignificant, even as a part of the immigration budget!
The number of SES level staff in the public service has blown out by 185 in the last three years. With an average SES pay level of approximately $150,000, this blowout is costing taxpayers an extra $30 million dollars a year.
There are 2850 SES level staff in total. The increase is insignificant. Those 185 SES were more than likely at the Director level and on approx $120,000 per year level before promotion, so in effect the increase is only $5.55 million.
The Prime Minister’s department and the Department of Climate Change were the biggest movers, increasing the number of SES staff from 42 to 90, and 18 to 56 respectively.
This should come as little surprise, considering that one of the key goals of the Labor Government was to tackle climate change.
The Auditor General has found that Labor’s literacy and numeracy national partnership program has produced no improvement in student outcomes, despite $540 million in payments over the last four years.
No improvement? -Primary schools achieved higher, especially in numeracy. -School participation in high school has increased. -There was an improvement in Indigenous students’ academia, albeit they are still below the results of non-Indigenous students.
Staff numbers in the Prime Minister’s office has blown out by almost 30% since Labor came to office in 2007, costing an additional $1 million a year. This is despite Labor promising at the 2007 election to slash ministerial staffing levels.
A bit of sensationalism here, the $1 million increase is NOTHING compared to the total amount spend on payroll. Most likely, those staff were already Public Servants who simply transferred over.
The Environment Department has signed a $500,000 contract to deck out its offices with indoor plants. Not to be outdone, the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations forked out more than $1 million to decorate offices with pot plants.
More sensationalism. Let’s not forget, Howard arranged for giant pot-plants to be placed around parliament, when the US president came to visit to avoid people from seeing them. I know the DEEWR building well. It would be lucky to have 800 plants in the whole building. According to the LNP’s calculations that $1250 for each plant. Wow.
Federal public servants are purchasing gold-plated coffee machines at a cost of $15,000 each. The Department of Innovation spent $75,000b on buying and installing five high-end coffee machines for its Canberra offices. The Clean Energy Regulator spent $20,000 on eight machines.
John Howard splashed $250,000 on building a gold carriage for the queen. The LNP is equally guilty of splashing cash around. The only difference is, public servants benefit from the former, and might be motivated to work harder. How anyone in the community will benefit from the gold carriage remains to be seen.
Labor has sent Origami style cardboard cut outs of a $1.4 million taxpayer funded truck to all federal MPs to supposedly help them ‘understand’ how the NBN works. The actual truck, a prime mover with a specially fitted out trailer, has been organised to travel the country to promote the NBN.
More split ends hairs from the Carbon Price advertising claims. Some areas are quite secluded. It is important that they also have equal access to information.
Government agencies are spending more than $10.3 million a year checking what is said about them in the media. This bill would pay for more than $100 (I think they meant ‘100’) full-time staff each eearning $100,000 a year.
Substantiate the claim. I could find nothing about media monitoring as a means to save face. On the other hand, media monitoring is used as a means to receive information on community issues. This is so politicians can act on said issues. Media monitoring was going on when I worked under the Howard Government. This is nothing new.
The cost of renting and furnishing houses in the community for asylum seekers is costing on average $9,100 on average for each house, almost 30% more expensive than the original estimate of $7,100 for the average family of five.
Splitting hairs again. Paying for asylum seekers to come in via humanitarian camps, and providing for them, is still cheaper than putting up border patrol, detention centres, running processing centres, etc.
Senate estimates revealed that Senator Conroy spent $525,719 to select 11 ABC and SBS directors. At about $50,000 for each position, Senator Conroy appears to have created an incredibly wasteful and expensive process to fill ABC and SBS board vacancies.
Nice copy and paste from The Australian there. (See my comments below this post). The new process is merit motivated, as opposed to being picked by the Government of the day. If picked by the Government, the system would be prone to nepotism. The new system is instrumental to avoiding bias in broadcasting (Murdoch Media is enough).
Goverment bureaucrats sold two billiard tables for $6000 and then promptly stumped up $100,000 to investigate whether the sale was value for money.
Pure sensationalism. Where’s the evidence? Good question.
Labor has paid more than a half a million dollars for a questionable accounting scheme for Kenya. The $550,000 tender has been awarded to the Clinton Foundation for designing a national carbon accounting system. The Foundation’s expertise is not in carbon accounting but in HIV/AIDS which provides practical assistance for developing countries.
A mathematician, not a climate scientist, discovered the greenhouse effect. What’s your point? Beside which, aid to combat HIV/AIDS is still for a noble and worthy cause. It certainly isn’t worse than employing a catering company do to your budget costings.
While most people run blogs at no cost; Julia Gillard has spent $53,000 running two that will run for about three months. The blogs feature little more than articles about Australia-Asia relations and just one reader has bothered to make a comment.
Before making such comments, and referring to tabloid journalism, please release the costings for Tony Abbott’s blog.
One of the two blogs doesn’t even allow readers to comment – a staple of online blogs. Taxpayers are forking out for a fulltime editor and a part time assistant to run one of the blogs.
Yes, and on blogs that can comment, the amount of harassment and hatred from LNP supporters is astonishing. Abbott’s blog will block you, if you so much as make a dissenting comment.
Labor has handed out a $72,000 grant to the Auburn Community Development Network to host an ‘enviro tea salon’. Thanks to the funding, participants can now take part in “a weaving workshop” using “native Lemandra grass”. Participants will be ” . . . encouraged to share their energy efficiency tips in exchange for free seeding, re-potted into a recycled cup sourced from local businesses”.
Handing out money to help spread environmentalism isn’t such a bad idea. Besides, I thought that the LNP supported businesses. So why are they complaining about local businesses being benefited by the move? They should have given the money to John Howard’s brother.
Projects included $197,302 for “Sending and responding to messages about climate change: the role of emotion and morality”; $314,000 for a study to determine if birds are shrinking; and $145,000 for a study of sleeping snails to determine “factors that aid life extension”.
1. The money given to the research council, is for the research council to allocate.
2. Research about climate change, and its effect on humans isn’t a waste, it’s good preparation for the future.
3. Birds shrinking? Forgot a word there. It’s actually “Bird populations shrinking”. I was hoping the birds would shrink.
4. Aiding life extension sounds like a means to improve on medical science.
What waste occurred?
Hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars are going to promote the carbon tax to toddlers as part of Labor’s multi-million dollar carbon tax campaign. The Department of Climate Change has provided grants for:
1. $150,000 to Dirtgirlworld Productions Pty Ltd – producer of children’s television program popular with toddlers.
2. $200,000 to Green Cross Australia to run carbon tax ‘Show and Tell’ programs in primary schools.
What? If you actually check, they are merely schemes to promote environmentalism. It is absurd to think that they can peddle it into a children’s show. The most they can do is promote environmentalism, and that’s about it. Show me some video proof, or is this just more sensationalism?
Labor has handed the Australian Council of Trade Unions $93,000 to teach union officials how to sell the carbon tax to their members.
Bullshit. Even in your excerpt, the aim was stated to be “to provide information about climate change and energy reduction policies”. The carbon price is part of the set, but that doesn’t mean it comprises the whole of it!
Labor has spent $110,000 in six months on media monitoring for the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, while at the same time cutting vital funds from frontline border protection services.
WHAT CUTS?! Oh, rescinding Howard’s inhumane plans? As mentioned above, media monitoring is a means to keep up to date on potential issues.
$600 million of Australia’s foreign Aid program is being spent on developing climate change “leader’ in the Pacific, making DVDs and writing policy briefs for overseas bureaucrats on climate change.
Spreading a message about the environment is a noble cause, considering the effects of global warming and climate change. To me this sounds very subjective in the way the LNP has presented this. They are clearly hoping that th reader interprets it as though the whole $600 million is going into making DVDs and writing policy briefs.
Public servants from the Department of Climate Change spent $3.1 million on overseas travel in 2010. This equates to about $250,000 a month. 86 staff travelled first or business class during 2010, taking more than 250 individual trips to cities such as Paris, London, New York, and Madrid. Reasons for travel included “energy efficient discussions”.
Discussing environmental issues is, as repeated above ad nauseum, a noble cause, considering the world we live in. When I worked for the Howard Government, senior public servants always flew first or business class. It was part of their salary agreement and used as a lure to get satff onto Australian Workplace Agreements.
The endless rotation of Speakers during this Parliamentary term will leave taxpayers with a bill of almost $100,000 in portrait costs. Former Speaker Peter Slipper is set to be immortalised on the walls in Parliament House with a portrait costing taxpayers $30,000.
Peter Slipper is a member of the LNP. That was, before Gillard instated him as speaker. Really, who cares about this? Perhaps when and if the LNP win office they can have the portraits done away with. Replace them with photos.
This follows the recently completed $30,000 portrait of Harry Jenkins, who Labor removed as Speaker in favour of Mr Slipper. After Mr Slipper’s resignation, a third Speaker was installed, guaranteeing the need for at least one more $30,000 portrait.
It’s no wonder he resigned, the LNP stabbed him in the back (note the terminology) and vilified him over sexual harassment for 8 months, before the supreme court threw their case out, for it was a scam. The LNP is to blame here, for ruining Slipper and forcing his resignation. If the Opposition didn’t drive Jenkins mad then this cost could have been avoided. And they are being a bit too speculative in claiming Labor had Jenkins removed. I thought he resigned.
Taxpayers will be forced to foot a $200,000 bill for the Department of Climate Change to contemplate how it brands itself.
What? Go substantiate your claims, with a reliable source. Again, more sensationalism.
Labor blew $60,000 on designing a “Nationa Carbon Offset Standard” logo – a logo experts say has no ‘wow’ factor.
Oh look, the LNP is getting desperate, and using more sensationalism. Labor was able to reduce emissions by 8.6%, with the carbon price. What will the LNP achieve, with their “market mechanism” scam? What logo experts?
Labor Ministers have breached their own rules on pork-barrelling after approving grants in their own electorates at least 33 times without properly telling the Finance department. And on 11 occasions, grants were approved by Ministers that government agencies recommended should be rejected! As Education Minister, Julia Gillrad approved grants to three schools in defiance of recommendations y her own department.
Don’t know what you mean by “properly telling”. It’s like saying that 90% of asylum seekers show up without papers, when papers specifically refers to passport. Here’s some good examples of pork-barrelling, Liberal style.
The Department of Parliamentary Services has spent about $2.4 million on “staff related and training” purposes – up $470,000 on the previous year. The Department’s annual report reveals the classes include advice on “getting a good night’s sleep”.
Sensationalism again. I thought staff training was important. The advice forms a PART of the whole training program. All the LNP seems to do is take a minor part of a scheme, and blow it up to vilify the scheme. Departments are required to spend an ex percentage on their entire salary budget on staff training. I remember when in the Public Service under Howard, the Government paid for people to have weekly massages because of getting sore bcks from their seating.
The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet spent $650,000 on training workshops in Julia Gillard’s first 15 months as Prime Minister. The department has spent thousands of dollars hiring performance coaches, some of who boast of improving emotional intelligence and ‘putting the lights on’.
More sensationalism? Give her a break, most jobs have training workshops. Abbott spent far more, as mentioned above, than Gillard on a personal basis. All footed onto the taxpayer. If those coaches can improve emotional intelligence and ‘putting the lights on’ I think they should be contracted by the LNP. Where the Department of PM&C got the job done for $650,000 I think there might be a cost blowout working on the Opposition. I’d guess somewhere close to $100,000,000,000.
Julia Gillard has received a new $66,000 hot water system at The Lodge, equivalent to replacing hot water systems in about 20 ordinary homes. And the new system isn’t even solar!
Yes, and the lodge is a 40 roomed mansion. The hot water system wasn’t ordered by Julia Gillard, it was ordered by the Department of Finance, after safety concerns. At the same time, they had to remove asbestos and improve on other safety issues. The actual water systems cost $32,000. The LNP just added all the costs! The water systems are Australian built, high efficiency systems, as mentioned in that article! I thought the LNP supported local business. Did John Howard break the last one?
Over $20 million has been wasted on administration costs to deliver new homes in Aboriginal communities under the Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program. Yet again, Labor has been shown to be incapable of implementing a program without wasting millions of dollars in the process.
Did they get the job done? Yes, they did. So what’s the problem?
Taxpayers are forking out $2022 for each tonne of carbon dioxide saved under Labor’s Green Precincts Fund. This is compared to the $23 a tonne carbon price under the Labor/Greens carbon tax.
Labor has splurged $15 on a dozen ‘demonstration’ projects under the program, including a grant to Cate Blanchett’s Sydney Theatre Company to reduce their energy bill by $98,000, but cost the Australian taxpayer $1.2 million.
I thought the LNP already covered, and attacked a few of those schemes. Sources, please, for the claim about the Sydney Theatre Company.
Thanks Jason, great work.
Having looked through the Liberal book I was astounded to see that approx 90% of these claims were lifted from Murdoch media sites (namely The Australian and The Daily Telegraph), or from fluffy Liberal media releases. Simply amazing.