Big-spending government boosts ‘jobs for fat cats’
Blimey. All the time I scoffed at various countrymen (read: family) moaning about government filling their own pockets – which I have observed on this blog – and they may have been on to something, after all.
Total public service employee numbers for the 2007-08 financial year have reached 242,426 – a 28per cent increase since 2000.
Excluding military personnel, the number of Commonwealth employees has risen from 136,014 in 2001-01 to 170,391 this year – an increase of 25 per cent.
The number of public service senior executives has jumped by 44per cent in the five years since 2001.
This year’s budget papers state that government spending over the next two years is projected to increase faster than economic growth. Government spending is forecast to increase from 21.3 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the 2005-06 year to 21.8 per cent of GDP by 2009-10.
Amazing what a decent run of rising incomes, bracket creep and budget surpluses will do a for a government’s propensity to toss money and public service jobs at a problem, rather than getting off its ass and really working on a solution.
It’s a nice split. All of the cuts in Howard’s first term have easily disappeared. This, though, I did not know (to be fair, the bastard was elected in my final year of High School):
In the Howard Government’s first term, its then minister for administrative services, David Jull, used a so-called Yellow Pages test.
Mr Jull believed that if you found someone in the phone book who could do a task being performed by government, the Government should not be performing that task.
God, the Neo-Cons over here would have loved that guy.
So, returning to government stereotypes. If Labor can weave this cleverly in with those pay increases (avoiding the blame, itself, of course) it will have a very good page or two in its current narrative – that Team Howard/Costello can go on and on as they like, about the economy: Rudd understands Australian Households.
Closer to home, my mother was livid, last night, telling me that Telstra, formerly public, now private (publicly-listed), would be charging them a bundle of money to examine their cactus telephone line, because it was within their property, rather than outside on council land. I had to remind her that Telstra is not a public service: of course they will charge like plumbers, given the opportunity. They have shareholders and executive expends accounts to satisfy. I wonder how much more such occurrences are costing Howard how many votes, though? It’s hardly something a Prime Minister Rudd can, or even would, correct, but that won’t stop Howard copping it all the same.
At least, for the Liberals, it could be worse: Costello could be leading them. Why has Rudd not been hammering away at the (no doubt very high) likelihood that a Howard victory will mean a Costello Prime Ministership anyway? I would – particularly if he’s as popular as a long-term Treasurer in Australia can be expected to be.