Thursday, November 29, 2007

Digging up the figures on government

Its time for some perspective people. We just got over an election full of hysteria, promises, vague rhetoric and fear tactics.

Not once during the election debates was there a balanced discussion on the wider issues;

  • what services should government provide?
  • what about the current level of taxation and the way it is raised ?
  • what about the current level of spending ?
  • what about the current number of government employees ?
  • what about the welfare system ?
I've done some digging around, and here are some figures that speak for themselves and will make these questions seem all the more pressing.
From the ATO 2006 annual report:
  • "We make $7.5 billion in transfers and payments to the community "
  • "At 30 June 2006, we employed 21,511 full time equivalent employees in offices all around Australia"
  • Our operating budget expenditure for 2005-06 was $2,533.2 million
  • Net tax collections increased to $232.6 billion which was $17.8 billion (8.3%) more than last year
From the Centrelink website:
  • Its recurrent budget is $2.3 billion
  • has 6.5 million customers, or approximately one-third of the Australian population ( !!! )
  • employs more than 25 000 staff
  • has more than 1 000 service delivery points ranging from large Customer Service Centres to small visiting services
  • has reduced the number of letters sent to our customers from more than 87 million (in 2004-2005) to 86.4 million per year (in 2005-2006)
  • receives more than 30.77 million telephone calls each year
  • grants more than 2.8 million new claims each year.
Department of Education, Science and Training annual report.
  • Expenses administered on behalof the government increased by three per cent from $18.755 billion in 2005-06 to $19.261 billion in 2006-07.
  • Total price of departmental expenses: $507.8 million
  • Average staffing level:
Department of Health and Ageing annual report:
  • Total Departmental Appropriations: $799.528 million
  • Total Administered: $45.7 billion

Senator Nick Minchin pointed out the following bit of information, which the media aren't the slightest bit interested in:
“At last count, Mr Rudd had announced 96 reviews and inquiries and 67 new government Departments, committees and task forces.
Have I made the situation perfectly clear ?