Opinion

Government hands out taxpayer-funded appointments

All governments do it but in no way that validates what is done.

I’m refering to government “gifts” of public sector appointments, all at generous salaries, paid for by the taxpayer.

Before I go on, consider this.

The average Australian income, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics is less than $70,000 a year.

Keep that figure in mind.

Yesterday, the Morrison Government handed out the “gifts”.

A bloke who lost his job in the last Western Australian election gets to become Deputy President of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal – $496,560 a year.

Others were appointed as “senior members” on about $330,000 a year, including the talented Pru Goward and the Prime Minister’s former Chief of Staff, Ann Duffield

Others, government staffers, no less, and another former MP will not be “senior members” but “new members”; they will still get between $193,990 and $249,420.

Remember, many of those paying for all of this are on less than $70,000.

The former Victorian Premier, Denis Napthine, got a gig to Chair the National Disability Insurance Agency Board.

Big money.

The former Turnbull Cabinet Minister, John McVeigh, has been given, cop this, Chair of the Modernising Murray River Systems technical panel, whatever the hell that is, when everything that governments do in relation to the Murray River has been a complete stuff up.

Don Harwin, a very undistinguished member of the Berejiklian Government, gets a gig on the Australia Council Board.

The Morrison Government leaves itself open to legitimate criticism but the same thing happened under Labor.

A senior Labor figure once said to me, “Alan, they will get rid of us in the end but it won’t matter. We will have all our people in the right places.”

Nonetheless, the Opposition’s Legal Affairs Spokesperson, the oleaginous Mark Dreyfus, said the total of Liberal “mates” placed in lucrative Appeals Tribunal gigs since 2013 totals 85.

And that is before you add in every other gig on offer.

The independent South Australian Senator, Rex Patrick, said, “We are seeing what happens just before every election. A Government returning favours and appointing mates to taxpayer funded positions – experience and know-how be damned… you can almost set your watch by these pre-caretaker announcements.”

A few points should be made.

The first is the obscenity of the salaries when compared to the plight of the average worker.

The second is, most of these statuatory authorities you have never heard of; you have no idea what purpose they achieve; and they should be ditched, especially when the nation is running up a trillion dollar debt.

And the third point is, it is no use blaming the Morrison Government.

Governments are all tarred with the same brush and that brush spreads waste and extravagance everywhere. No wonder neither of the two major political parties can command more than a third of the electorate’s support.

In other words, almost two-thirds don’t want the Liberals and almost two-thirds don’t want Labor.

The reason is simple.

The voter is sick of these sorts of insults.

People with limited qualifications get a job as a result of political patronage and it pays them more than five times what the average worker pulls in.

As I have said, from my perspective, the only word that applies to all of this is “obscene”.

 

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