I used Adele Sainte-Marie’s ideas, Labor’s deals: The real cost?, to calculate the following table. The table contains estimated costs per Tasmanian (Total$ / POPN) and population (2001) figures by Council area.
Estimated cost per Tasmanian is rounded to $1 per person when a State figure of $500,000 is expended (or wasted).
To work out how much each Council area had contributed to the sector shown in the columns, I multiplied each population by the dollars per taxpayer to see how local government areas could have benefited economically had those transfers etc. not taken place. A comparison such as this is designed to make it easier for taxpayers to decide how much to support specific State government practices.
The table also raises the question of whether politicians and council members avoid conflicts of interests through open disclosure of financial interests.
By their actions, the Lennon Government appears to have at least three substantive priorities in this order:
1. Support specific private sector organisations.
2. Retire debt.
3. Ease the pain and suffering of Tasmanians.
1: Support for government preferred private sector groups is always forthcoming, in fact the government is prepared to both criticise and threaten critical taxpayers; and to keep dealings either secret or unreported.
2: Lennon’s hospital ‘rescue’ package is to rescue the hospitals from whom exactly? He announced this package and added that he would not incur debt to improve the health system.
3: Tasmanians, many in pain, are waiting longer for hospitalisation than in any other State. Some suffering patients can’t be treated in Tasmania at all owing to a lack of specialists resulting from health service cut-backs.
The system is run by health service bureaucrats whose decisions can increase the suffering of Tasmanians yet who are not held accountable in any way for our health.
Only doctors and nurses can reduce suffering, but they are controlled by bureaucrats. We need to change our health systems so that medical staff who can ease our pain are not controlled by bureaucrats who can only make our pain worse.
Tasmanians deserve better than a third rate health system, particularly when there appears to be so much money that the government can give away hundreds of millions of dollars.
It is our tax money that the government is using, surely they can move to ease our pain and suffering before giving money away and retiring debt.
Notes on the table:
Costs per person are conservative estimates obtained from public information. Government doesn’t report these figures so only estimates can be used.
The cost per Council area means that had the monies not been spent in the ways chosen by the State government, then this is the total amount by which taxpayers in that area could have benefited and the Council area economy would have been that much greater. Alternatively the money could have been allocated to Councils for regional development, or allocated for health care improvements or other means to improve the quality of life of the Tasmanians whose money has been used.
The poor are not exempt from the payments since much State money is returned from GST collections which are paid by everyone.
The 10,000 jobs claimed for the timber industry equates out to a maximum of $100 million, about the same as the reported overpayment for Spirit III.