…Now I engaged the brainpower of one Margaret McKenzie, longtime economist, now working at Per Capita who did a quick back-of-the-envelope estimate for me.
She says our total budget spending is just about one-quarter of our gross domestic product. That spending, says McKenzie, is low compared to other comparable countries.
That aside, she’s happy to take my challenge of how we could spend $90 billion. Figures by McKenzie, commentary by me (obviously):
- Increase JobSeeker by $500 a fortnight. That’s a bargain at $10 billion a year. That would go towards alleviating poverty in this country. (We know already families really benefited from the increased benefits during COVID)
- NDIS is currently $50 billion annually. McKenzie says once we remove profiteering and insource everything there will be less rorting. We could save $10 billion there and add it to our $90 billion or extend and improve the NDIS.
- Build more public housing (difficult because states get their hands on the moolah and end up spending it however)
- Double spending on aged care. Ensure there is a no-profit provision and fund the pay increase. $25 billion annually.
- Healthcare – our current spend is $105 billion. We could save by removing subsidies to private health. It would be more than enough to reintroduce free health care. Bulk billing has all but disappeared. We could extend and save services in regions. Include the dentist and the physio for God’s sake.
- Universities have been left in shambles after 10 years of the Coalition. Let’s double current spending on higher education. I don’t even mind if some of that goes to submarine school so long as they educate some actual women.