RUDD SADDLES AUSTRALIA WITH DEBT
Posted on Friday, 5 June 2009
Prime Minister Rudd boasts that the $52 billion cash splash has worked even though it’s economic conditions, not statistics, which make or unmake a recession. Even the stats show that the domestic economy went backwards by almost one per cent in the past quarter.
The government’s policies should not be judged on quarterly statistics but on whether they create a stronger and more productive economy.
It’s much easier to spend money than to accumulate it. On the evidence so far, it’s pretty clear that the government is more interested in spending borrowed money than in getting good value for it.
Take the Alstonville by-pass in northern NSW – claimed as a mighty achievement in parliament this week by Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese. The NSW Labor government first announced it way back in 1996. To get things moving, the Howard Government committed $12 million in 2001 when the estimated total project cost was just $24 million. The NSW government took $6 million to spend on preliminary works but then said it couldn’t afford to proceed.
Last year the Rudd Government spent a further $13 million on the project. Still, there was no action from Labor’s colleagues in NSW. A sod-turning ceremony finally took place in April after the feds committed even more money bringing total Commonwealth spending to $102 million.
It’s good that this long-overdue road is finally being built. On the other hand, yet again, Federal Labor is bailing out state Labor and a road that should have cost $24 million will end up costing more than four times that amount and be ten years late. Now the government is trumpeting the 140 construction workers on the road. That’s nearly $1 million each for jobs that might last 18 months. This is not good value for taxpayers and it’s no way to manage an economy successfully for the long run.
Australia has avoided a technical recession for now but it will be saddled with Labor’s debt for decades to come.
Source: DAILY TELEGRAPH