Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Government flushes more cash down the toilet

Why control your spending habits ? Why prioritise ? Why cut back ? Why even look at what you get for your money ?

Why indeed, when its not your money ! The mantra of government is spend, and spend so you get noticed in the media. And the Liberal Party are following that philosophy, with the name "Liberal" simply being a recognised business name or corporate logo, rather than a set of ideas and principles which are followed.

The mantra of the ALP, our opposition party, is "if you can't spend, then promise to spend" so that you get more favorable attention in the run-up to the next election. The ALP have all sorts of zany expensive ideas, like wind energy, solar power, $4.7billion to broadband and billions more into failing hospitals.

The Liberals are keeping pace, with their promises to "help out the farmers". Well, not directly you see. Peter Costello isn't heading down to the farm to grab a shovel or drive a tractor. No sir. He's got a much better idea. Mail out cheques to farmers. Cheques paid for by every Australian taxpayer. This announcement comes after the government has put together a $714m assistance package for farmers.

THE Federal Government today announced a $714 million package to help farmers hit by the worst drought in living memory.

The package comes on top of $430 million in exceptional circumstances funding announced by Prime Minister John Howard on September 17.

Assistant Water Minister John Cobb told a drought summit in Parkes in central western NSW the package would include direct grants to irrigators and more exceptional circumstances funding.

And the treasurer gives his own wisdom on the subject:

GOVERNMENTS may need to consider "exit packages" for farmers seeking to leave the land, Peter Costello says.

Going into a Cabinet meeting to discuss the increase of drought relief, the Treasurer said there was a danger the bush was heading back towards the worst drought in 100 years, with winter rains failing to bring an end to the dry spell.

Cabinet is discussing more generous income and assets tests, reducing the red tape for providing drought relief for those farmers in the horticulture industry who are in danger of losing their permanent plantings.

Mr Costello said the first priority had to be income support to keep food on the table. But he also acknowledged that long term decisions may need to be made.

“Some of course may be thinking about moving on from the farm and you have to look at exit packages for those that want to do that voluntarily,” Mr Costello said this morning.

Exit grants of up to $150,000 will be available to farmers to leave their properties and there will be an increase in the number of mental health counsellors from the package.

Here's a novel idea Mr Costello. Bugger off and let the farmers decide for themselves. If they can't survive as farmers, then let them be plumbers, accountants, doctors, cleaners or wherever else their labour earns the highest return. Its called the free market. And you help speed up the adjustment and allocation process by *NOT* subsidising or interfering with bail-out packages.