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ACT Budget – They’ve done it again!

By PantsMan - 4 March 2010 67

The ACT Budget is broken again.  Where should the repairs begin?

Here’s my wish list:

* 500+ jobs from the public service – What does Tourism ACT do?

* close the Arboretum.

* contract out TAMS.

* close a few more schools.

* kidnap the Governor-General until the Feds hand over more money.

What’s Your opinion?


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67 Responses to
ACT Budget – They’ve done it again!
colourful sydney rac 11:16 am 03 Mar 10

cut funding to summernats and intorduce a stupidity tax on 4WD owners.

Gungahlin Al 10:49 am 03 Mar 10

housebound said :

More amazing is how surprised the Government is that this could happen. It’s not like they didn’t know months ago. Where on earth was their contingency planning? Why wasn’t there a ‘Plan B’ in place? Why weren’t they hedging their bets in the budget planning process?

Fiscal and competence – two words that I want to see in the same sentence.

Indeed Housebound. There never seems to be a Plan B for even the most obvious contingencies with the ACT Treasury.

As an example, after our Meet the Candidates meeting, we found Treasury briefing papers left behind by one of the ALP incumbents. Remember this was October just 1.5 weeks before the election. The advice was that the growing global economic concerns would not bother the ACT and no changes to the ALP’s election platform were deemed necessary! Clearly that was about as wrong as advice could possibly have gotten…

This time around, the lobbying for a bigger slice of the GST pie to NSW has been intense, the likelihood of it being listened too was high given the near-death experience the NSW ALP Government is having, and the rebuttal from the ACT Government (“the costs of running the nation’s capital are increasing due to decreased federal funding, exacerbated by 8 years of drought…” etc etc) was near invisible.

And yet again, contingency planning non-existent it seems.

Some would call this management-by-crisis.

A core issue behind the problem is that the ACT Government will not consider accruing a debt. They act like the local tradie who only buys tools when there is cash in the bank. Instead they should work the accrual accounting principles to defer some costs to future residents, given they will be the beneficiaries of the assets purchased using those debts.

It ain’t rocket science, and every other government in Australia uses it without fear. So why is the ACT the only one that is totally debt-averse?

At the very least, cop a deficit budget for a couple of years.

smpc 9:50 am 03 Mar 10

Grapes of Sloth said :

Stop the annual funding to the Summernats, Raiders and Brumbies?

Yes please. Or Summernats, at any rate.

housebound 8:35 am 03 Mar 10

More amazing is how surprised the Government is that this could happen. It’s not like they didn’t know months ago. Where on earth was their contingency planning? Why wasn’t there a ‘Plan B’ in place? Why weren’t they hedging their bets in the budget planning process?

Fiscal and competence – two words that I want to see in the same sentence.

urchin 8:26 am 03 Mar 10

haha, yeah public housing is a huge waste of space and money. providing people with affordable housing is a proven cause of poverty, that’s why australia is so rich and people are so keen to see house prices to the moon.

maybe they should have a public consultation on what should be cut. then they could pretend to care about the residents for an hour before taking whatever short-sighted measures they planned on taking initially.

PantsMan 8:17 am 03 Mar 10

bd84 said :

Your wish list sounds like it came off the top of your head with little thought or understanding of the ACT Government…,

I think she may have a good case to have the GST revenue decision reviewed by the Commonwealth anyway.

Your right: I’m not quite from around here. But you might be surprised about my knowledge of the ACT Government ;-o

Still don’t know why we have a target for public housing. Why does everyone in Canberra think that 10 per cent of Canberrans should live in poverty such that they justify 10 per cent of housing in Canberra being Public Housing? Maybe Public Housing just fuels the problem and should be closed?

GST revenue: The Feds are supposed to give us extra money to pay for our ‘roads paved with gold’ that they left us, but they stopped that a few years ago.

PantsMan 8:02 am 03 Mar 10

Grapes of Sloth said :

Hmm they’ve got to find $80million + in recurrent savings (or additional revenue) to cover the shortfall in GST. None of your suggestions comes close.

Which libraries do you want closed?

Which bus routes do you want halted?

Stop the annual funding to the Summernats, Raiders and Brumbies?

There’s not much fat in the TAMS budget – check their annual statements. Just about everything that can be contracted out has been – mowing, road sealing, bridge maintenance, etc, etc.

As for Tourism – which is in Chief Ministers Department – yes a complete waste of money, but that perpetual irritant Brendan Smythe will pipe up and say how outrageous it is to stop this form of corporate welfare.

And anything is better than having to listen to that twit Smythe – even going into serious deficit.

I think that’s a CMD problem generally. So many strategic plans and frameworks that never go anywhere.

I’d close the recently opened Kingston Library. That would be a great example of government waste (build a library then close it) and all that library, community facilities, serrrrrrvices for the commuuuuuunity (wave hands in the air while saying) stuff is really about having things paid for by the Government that people feel should exist, but that they never actually use. When is the last time you went to a library?

They need to do more on the revenue side I think. Maybe a courageous decision to extend land tax to all property including owner occupied housing (while cutting the rate), or having a flat payroll tax on all companies regardless of numbers of employees.

They could borrow Mr Rudd’s ‘Meat Axe’: he’s not using it.

Weaselburger 8:02 am 03 Mar 10

why not buy another 20 or 30 pieces of public art then hope and pray that there might actually be people out there wanting to spend money to come here and see it.

failing that just spend money installing a petting zoo in parliament house and then ask the federal govt for a pay rise.

Clown Killer 12:00 am 03 Mar 10

Any cuts will come out of things that are actually useful. All the wankery and pet projects will be untouched

Never a truer word spoken. Standope will once again piss away millions on public hospitals, libraries, multicultural festivals, and community consultation … and who pays? It sure as sh!t aint the bloodsuckers.

bd84 11:50 pm 02 Mar 10

Your wish list sounds like it came off the top of your head with little thought or understanding of the ACT Government, though Katy’s statement of a “hiring freeze on all “non-essential” public servants” is probably just as bad. Given that there is no definition of the “non-essential”, I’m sure we could make up a case for staff to be essential for even the most minor position.

I think she may have a good case to have the GST revenue decision reviewed by the Commonwealth anyway.

Grapes of Sloth 11:49 pm 02 Mar 10

Hmm they’ve got to find $80million + in recurrent savings (or additional revenue) to cover the shortfall in GST. None of your suggestions comes close.

Which libraries do you want closed?

Which bus routes do you want halted?

Stop the annual funding to the Summernats, Raiders and Brumbies?

There’s not much fat in the TAMS budget – check their annual statements. Just about everything that can be contracted out has been – mowing, road sealing, bridge maintenance, etc, etc.

As for Tourism – which is in Chief Ministers Department – yes a complete waste of money, but that perpetual irritant Brendan Smythe will pipe up and say how outrageous it is to stop this form of corporate welfare.

And anything is better than having to listen to that twit Smythe – even going into serious deficit.

gun street girl 11:32 pm 02 Mar 10

Ian said :

One thing we can be sure of in the budget. Any cuts will come out of things that are actually useful. All the wankery and pet projects will be untouched.

Sadly, you are probably right. But, in the spirit of optimism, I wish for a razor gang to come along in the wake of Cormack, and that they mercilessly burn the administrators in ACT Health to the ground. Failing that, a pony.

Ian 11:21 pm 02 Mar 10

One thing we can be sure of in the budget. Any cuts will come out of things that are actually useful. All the wankery and pet projects will be untouched.

Pandy 10:45 pm 02 Mar 10

Only the G-G? Awww shucks you could have been more ambitious and said POTUS. heh heh

Hang on. What is that whoop-whoop sound I hear?

NickD 9:43 pm 02 Mar 10

I thought that much (most?) of TAMS is already contracted out… I’d be interested to know if that’s saved any money though.

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