6 Jan. 2008

Winding Back The Bribes

Rudd pulls out the meat-axe and starts hacking away at Howard's pre-election bribes. The saving to taxpayers could be as much as fifteen billion dollars:
Some are obvious, such as the $285million provided to establish the Workplace Authority. Digital Australia, an organisation established to co-ordinate the shift from analog to digital television, will also be scrapped.

However, most of the vulnerable projects are small, such as the "Innovation Ambassador" program, under which the former government proposed paying for people to spread the word about entrepreneurialism among small businesses and young Australians.

Other commitments that could be axed include several sporting facilities in marginal electorates, a program to fund the design of an Australian semi-conductor chip, a $10 million contribution to a private company developing cloud seeding technology, and $12.5 million to support nuclear power research.
No! Not the cloud seeding technology! Malcolm Turnbull promised Rupert Murdoch's nephew $10 million, remember?
The Howard government embarked on a slew of projects, which individually were modest in cost but when combined add a total of $15 billion to budget costs over the next four years.

There were 175 separate spending proposals between last year's May budget and the mid-year budget update, which was ruled off on October 10, four days before the federal election was called.

Over the following seven days, a further 50 spending initiatives were announced, ahead of the government entering the caretaker period...
As with Brendan Nelson's disastrous Defense purchases, like the F/A-18 Super Hornets, the hard thing will be pulling out of binding contracts. Check out these "nightmare" legacy projects:
First is the FFG Anzac class guided missile frigates upgrade; so far 98 per cent of the $1.4 billion budget for these four fighting ships has been spent, yet not one of them is ready for war.

Insiders suggest the ships' combat systems may never be fully integrated.

Second is the Super Sea Sprite helicopters for the Anzac class frigates - $1 billion has already been invested and not a single machine is in service.

Third is the upgrade of the Army's 350 M113 Armoured Personnel Carriers.

Almost $600 million has been spent and not one of the upgraded Vietnam War-era vehicles is in service.
What a bloody waste. That's your money, right there, folks. Yours and mine.