Even if the whole motel were booked out by the Department of Immigration, the price works out to be $440 per room, per night - or almost double the quoted rack rate of $235 for the motel’s most expensive room: a two-bedroom business suite. We should not be surprised at this laissez-faire attitude to taxpayers’ money - that is the hallmark of this Government and will be its lasting legacy.
““At the heart of our plan for a stronger economy is getting government spending down…” said Mr Abbott.
Presumably down from Howard government levels. In those 11 years there was not one in which government spending was reduced. It grew by an average of 3.7 per cent in its final five years. Current projections for spending growth have an average of 1.5 per cent. And for fond memories you don’t put into the economic equation a global recession which took more than $140 billion from the tax revenue of the new Labor government, a plunge more severe that anything which hit the Howard Budgets. Memories have to be selective to be attractive, as there are bits of the golden age which can never be polished, even by Mr Abbott. For example, the Regional Partnerships Program which ran for eight years makes Labor’s Building an Education Revolution scheme look like a a well-oiled economic mechanism of integrity and efficiency. The BER never funded a Queensland coastal hotel which boasted gaming and strippers, but a 2005 Senate inquiry was told that’s just what the RPP did. As the Auditor General reported in 2007 on the $330 million spent by the RPP, “The manner in which the program had been administered over the three year period to 30 June 2006 examined by ANAO had fallen short of an acceptable standard of public administration, particularly in respect to the assessment of grant applications and the management of funding agreements.”The audit found “instances where no application for funding was received prior to funding being approved”. They were instances either of psychic accounting or pure electoral pork barrelling.”