a government announces in a Budget that it will spend extra on health next year,
is that compared to
1.what has been spent in the current
2.what it intended to spend a year ago?
the case of health the answer is 2.
last year’s budget the Tasmanian Health Service THS spending was intended to be
$1,368 million in 2016/17 and $1,362 million in 2017/18.
one looks at the Policy and Parameter Statement in this year’s budget papers (Budget
Paper 1 page 67) THS’s estimated outcome for 2016/17 shows an extra $106.7
million being spent (or estimated to be spent) for 2016/17. This suggests THS
spending of $1,475 million for 2016/17.
looking at this year’s budget papers, intended spending by THS (Budget Paper 2 vol
2 page 109) for 2017/18 is $1,460 million. That may be $98 million more than what was
intended a year ago but it is less than what was actually spent in the current
the system is in crisis spending less is unlikely to fix the problem.
what Building Tasmania’s Future means. The Mercury was quite correct in
depicting the Treasurer in this morning’s edition as a snake oil salesman with a warning that the tonic being marketed may contain pork.
an unreality about the budget. Let’s have a look at the overall Income Statement
(Budget Paper 1 page 47), in particular the figures for employee expenses. To
make it easy part of the relevant table is pasted below.
added the estimated outcome figures from page 191. It easy to see the increases
in employee expenses are $29 million in 2017/18 then $30 million and $31
million in the next two years.
% terms that’s a 1% increase in each of the next 3 years. Scarcely believable when
the estimated outcome for the current year 2016/17 was $60 million above budget
and the Treasurer had the place ticking over like a well oiled machine. Even
less credible given wage increase are tracking at a rate higher than 1%, and
employment in the health area is supposed to rise.
“Australian banks are upset. Their
$30 billion per year gravy train of profits from the Australian people is
finally being slowed down.
A levy on bank liabilities of 0.06% annually was announced as
part of the 2017 Federal government budget, and is expected to raise about $1.5
billion per year, or 5% of bank profits.
To be clear, the banking system is a regulated cartel. Its primary function is
to provide a public good in the form of the money supply of the country. As
such, we would expect it to be uncompetitive, and use tight regulatory controls
to ensure that the privileged position of private banks is not being abused.
In my book, Game of Mates, I explain
that the result of this uncompetitiveness and lack of adequate regulation in
Australia is that over half of the banks' profits can be considered economic rents, which
could be taken back with better regulation and shared with the public at large.”
“This is the story of
how Australia became one of the most unequal societies in the Western world
while merely a generation ago it was one of the most equal. It is the story of
how groups of ‘Mates’ have come to dominate our corporate and political sectors,
and managed to rob us, the Australian majority, of over half our wealth.”
begins a just released book by one of my favourite economists Cameron Murray,
written with another Queenslander Paul Frijters.
Little is publicly
disclosed about the latest dispute between Hydro Tasmania (HT) and Basslink Pty
Ltd (BL) following the six month cable outage from December 2015 to June 2016. BL
has just revealed a little more with the lodgement of its 2016
Financial Statements and Report with Australian Securities and Investment
We knew HT has not
been paying the monthly facility fee to BL since September 2016 but that it has been making good faith
payments. However these are considerably less than the facility fees otherwise
payable. The amount in dispute between the parties could get out of hand?