February 14, 2011

Stories that vanished

A few stories came and went within a blink during the last couple of weeks:

Tonergate:  In just three weeks - after being told that a finance cap would be introduced from October 1, 2009 - Liberal MPs ordered $267,288 of printer cartridge toner, according to documents obtained through Freedom of Information.

All  that ink and no one ordered paper? 

The ALP, with 18 more members at the time, managed to spend $127K on ink.  They didn't stock up on paper either.

Liberal MPs rort $300K of toner

Loose change:  Most creative defence of super-profits came from Ralph Norris, the boss of Commonwealth Bank.

"Rather than a $3.34 billion first-half profit, Mr Norris said the bank's latest result should be viewed as $3.35 - the price of a bus ticket or a takeaway coffee.
To illustrate, he said it would be better to value all the bank's assets at $900 - not the $900 billion of loans, shareholder capital and other funds it actually has under management.

''If you asked me at the end of six months and you have $3.35 rattling around in your pocket you'd probably say that didn't seem like a large amount of money in relation to $900,'' he said. ''When I talk about $3.35 billion - that's three dollars and 35 cents.''

 Which bank earned $3.35B?

Labor pork barreling:  "Labor faces fresh charges of pork-barrelling after conceding it decided to establish 28 taxpayer-funded GP super clinics without assessing existing medical services in the chosen locations.

In an admission that lends weight to opposition claims that the $650 million scheme has been used to benefit marginal seats, federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon has revealed her department did not do any research on GP services before she chose the sites."

Super clinic sites chosen without study of services

Labor pork rots: "Two-thirds of Labor's pork-barrelling election promises to the bush during the Kevin07 campaign have not been delivered.

Most of the $178 million pledged for 106 projects through the Better Regions program was promised to marginal seats in rural areas, the Australian National Audit Office revealed in a report tabled in the federal parliament yesterday.

Just 35 projects - a third of the total - had been completed by September 30 last year, nearly three years after approval.

Administration of the scheme was so sloppy that one South Australian council was promised $275,000 for a business centre that had already won a similar grant from the former Howard government. The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government took 10 months to realise that the two Adelaide Hills business centres - each approved for $275,000 in funding - were one and the same."

Kevin07's pork rots on shelf

Labor's economic credibility grows more mold:   "Julia Gillard proudly repeated a line Wayne Swan has been misleadingly spruiking for months.

She said: "I want to reinforce this point, we have already made as a government more than $80 billion of savings since 2007".

Sounds impressive, right? The only problem is it isn't true. When the Prime Minister and the Treasurer talk of "savings", they include tax increases, dividends and levies, not just cuts in government spending.

The planned flood levy would be classified as savings. What a joke.

Here are some examples of what Gillard includes in her list of so-called savings. A one-off dividend of $150 million the government demanded from Australia Post, $555m from luxury-car tax rises, $402m from higher visa application charges and, in the most recent budget, $275m from more fuel taxes as a result of amending ethanol arrangements.

Added to that are billions of dollars from alcopops and tobacco tax rises. Even the yet-to-be-collected mining tax is included in the $80bn in so-called savings."

Julia's deception on 'savings' makes credibility a joke


  1. Anonymous6:55 PM

    The price we pay for democracy.


    PS. anyone wanta but some really cheap toner cartridges?

  2. If you've got some cheap A4 paper, I think I have some customers for you.

    Happy Valentine's Day Justin ... wine & roses!

  3. Anonymous9:11 AM

    Thanks Caz, hope you had a great VD as well, nah, that doesn't sound right...wine and roses yeah, but nevertheless, I reckon Kath got the duck - and good for her.