$16.6 billion dollars.
It’s a lot of money.
And we’re all paying it.
That’s how much interest the Turnbull government will be handing out over the next 12 months. It can only pay this because you work and pay taxes.
To give some idea of how much money goes into ‘servicing debt’, the Commonwealth is spending only slightly more than this on funding public hospitals. Schools receive a similar amount.
In fact, total interest payments over the next three years could pay off Australia’s new submarines outright. And that program is the most expensive Defence acquisition in our nation’s history and is expected to run until the middle of the century.
Last night’s budget announced that tax revenue would increase by over $20 billion. Despite this, the Turnbull government somehow delivered a ‘planned’ deficit of $37.1 billion and then it bragged about its economic management.
‘Planned’ is important to understand. For the last decade, our governments have ‘planned’ a return to surplus and have only delivered more debt.
Each year, the planned debt has ballooned ever higher with every budget update.
Given this and the fact that the ‘small spending’ Turnbull government has also managed to increase total expenditure by more than $20 billion over the next year, one would have to be naively optimistic to think that this plan will ever come to fruition.
In fact, the Turnbull government’s forecast of ‘only’ racking up further debts by $85 billion over the next four years seems entirely fanciful. That figure, you can bet your bottom dollar, will increase.
And that means our interest burden will increase as well. It is highly likely that in just 12 months the Commonwealth will spend five times more on interest payments than it does on highways. Think about that next time you’re stuck in traffic.
If this doesn’t make you upset and angry, then nothing will. I suggest you go and vote for the Greens because they represent those devoid of all common-sense, although increasingly the Liberal and Labor parties are competing for those votes as well.
There is one reason we face this problem: Liberal and Labor governments are addicted to spending your money buying votes from other people.
It’s that simple.
That’s why taxes have grown by more than $20 billion over the last 12 months and not one single cent of debt has been paid off. Instead, the Turnbull government is borrowing more.
And it borrows to fund things like this.
The Attorney General’s department has budgeted $4.6 million to pay for the legal fees of those facing terrorism, drug importation, slavery and people smuggling charges.
No. I am not making this up.
Now, I accept that $4.6 million is a drop in the ocean of a $37.1 billion deficit.
But the ocean is made up of drops.
And you don’t have to look very far before you start seeing larger and more wasteful spending.
About $28 million will be allocated over the next four years for the ‘Countering Violent Extremism’ program that has produced such stellar results as nurturing the latest wannabe Anzac Day killer.
$200 million will be given away in foreign grants for ‘climate change’ programs. Another $248 million will be spent to reduce ‘climate change’ in Australia.
Then there’s the SBS and ABC. They get $1.4 billion.
The Department of Immigration will spend over $51 million just bringing refugees into Australia. The states then have to wear the cost of providing infrastructure. Academic research has found this is as high as $170,000 per person and the government’s own research shows that most refugees arriving here over the last decade remain jobless and never contribute back to our society through taxes.
And then there is the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
As nice as it sounds, it is going to cripple this nation.
It is expected to cost just over $4 billion this year. By 2019/20, this figure will rise to over $21 billion. A doctor recently told me that that the NDIS will only make people like him richer. I was contacted today by a carer worried about the fact that this scheme was actually going to result in a lower level of care for the quadriplegic that he looked after.
The NDIS has all the hallmarks of being the expensive disaster we’ve come to expect from government. It should be scrapped and the funds instead diverted to paying down debt. Removing this program alone could see us pay off our Commonwealth debt in approximately the same time it would take a first home owner to pay off his house.
If we cut the rest of the wasteful spending each and every government department engages in (publicly-funded Eid dinners anyone?) then this debt could be paid off much earlier.
And that would free up over $16 billion every year to spend on important things like new infrastructure, schools and hospitals. That’s what I will champion if I am elected as an Australian Liberty Alliance Senator.