Horses vs Nurses

Among the many cuts introduced by the LNP government (which promised, pre-election to improve services), some of the sharpest are in the area of hospitals. According to this report[1], Royal Brisbane&Womens and Metro North face cuts of $130 million a year between them, with much more to come elsewhere. But, according to the Premier, we are on the verge of the abyss, and everyone must make sacrifices.

Well, not quite everyone. Despite the emergency situation, Campbell Newman has managed to find $110 million to upgrade the racing industry statewide, including more than $30 million for the Gold Coast turf club, to build “a slick new bar and upgraded foyer and lobby entry”. I’m sure that if RBWH had an extra $33 million to spend, they could find a better use for it than a slick new bar and foyer.

(Hat tip @BigBadWolf1950 on Twitter)

Massive state subsidies for the racing industry are the kind of historical anomaly that would be up for abolition if the government and its Commission of Audit were serious. Historically, they derive from a period when the only legal form of gambling (apart from the Casket) was on-course race betting. When the TAB was established, decades ago, the racing industry demanded and got, a share of the take. But those days are long gone, and now we can bet on just about anything. If the racing industry needs money, it should get it from gate takings or broadcast rights, just like other sports.

fn1. News Limited, but likely to be accurate on a topic like this.

42 thoughts on “Horses vs Nurses

  1. TerjeP :
    Ikonoclast – Careful, if you keep this up and people will accuse you of being my sock puppet.

    There is little danger of that. I will never agree with low taxes, minimalist government nor retrenchment of the proper welfare state while market failure remains a persistent feature of our economy. I will always favour a mixed economy and sound regulation of finances and the free market. The model for me must always be of “freedom within bounds”. Individual freedom and market freedom can only be properly understood and implemented as “freedoms within bounds”. This is the only model that makes philosophical and empirical sense. Total individual freedom if fully exercised will always impinge on the freedom of others. Responsible freedom within society can never mean just doing whatever one likes.

    However, it is true that there are still many areas where democratic socialists with left libertarian tendencies and right libertarians can agree as I outlined above.

    In Australia, the greater problem with welfare actually exists with corporate welfare and welfare for the rich and middle classes. I agree 100% with winding this unnecessary federal expenditure back. If the quid pro quo is removing some of the taxes and costs that business finds irksome (like payroll tax) this would be fine. As a further example, I would want to see negative gearing removed but I would be happy to see the tax raising compliance costs of business (for example the costs of raising the GST for government) fully reimbursed at 100%.

  2. @Steve at the Pub

    Btw, as you will be aware, the Fukushima nuclear reactor event was in 2011, long after the event I was referring to.”

    tpThis is fast becoming one of those nonsense arguments in which the most proficient in nonsense wins.

  3. And I did mean to say – you win!

    Your website is a last of minor winged, are you able to rise above the petty point scoring?

  4. It could be argued that the Queensland government has shrunk considerably over the years given none of the members have half the portfolios or the stature of Big Russ… but… $30 million for a bar!?! I’d be checking out who has brother-in-law in the construction business.

  5. @TerjeP
    “A policy announced just before the election” Like improving frontline services, and “public servants have nothing to fear”

  6. Ikonoclast – Interesting comment. Whilst you are on a roll what does the phrase “limited government” mean to you.

  7. TerjeP :
    Ikonoclast – Interesting comment. Whilst you are on a roll what does the phrase “limited government” mean to you.

    It’s a vague term which can mean quite a few different things depending on context. It could mean anything from minimalist libertarian government to Australian Constitutional Government under the Westminster System and related conventions with an independent judiciary and oversight of a free press. (Okay, please don’t laugh at the free press bit. Not sure that happens anymore under the Murdochracy.)

    Sure, I prefer limited government of the form of Australian Constitutional Government to the unlimited government of a despot or a totalitarian regime. I just don’t like government to be excessively limited so that other forms of power, like that of corporate capital, begin to implement their own form of despotism.

  8. Billie @20, the LNP aren’t so much “putting race horses ahead of humans” as putting public inebriation ahead of public health.

  9. Racing is the ongoing celebration of the individual who against all odds becomes a winner. Winners are grinners with losers usually ending up as pet food. Public health is about giving everybody an equal chance whereas LNP appear to be focused on servicing the small group of winners.

  10. There is no money in Queensland to support people with disabilities or their families trial a National Disability Scheme but there is money for those who love to drink after a horse race. Can Do Campbell Can’t do things if they are for people who are women, the sick or have disabilities or engage in literature or Aboriginal it seems. It would be interesting to know why a state which is too broke to help the disabled in its own community can suddenly find this level of funding for those wealthy enough to run race horses.

  11. Campbell Newman’s claimed economic foundationsCampbell Newman’s claimed economic mfoundations

    12 by Greg Wood

    Economically moronic or grossly ideological? Which description best fits the Cando Newan government’s excuse for massive and cruel job losses and public service cuts? Here is an expose of Queensland Treasury’s base and baseless rationale for austerity.

    Melodramatic economic rhetoric frankly misleading

    The Qld Treasurer, Mark McArdle, appeared on ABC local radio today. He used the opportunity to re-iterate the litany of abysmal financial debt left to ‘Queenslanders’ by the previous ALP Govt. and the attendant need for austere severity by the new Government. In describing this dark legacy he included the debt held by Government Owned Corporations (GOC’s).

    Shortly afterward a caller to the station correctly identified the Treasurer’s description as incorrect and misleading. GOC’s hold debt within their balance sheets as a normal part of their commercial operations, as do all private corporations. Such debt levels are kept transparently and within thresholds deemed to be commercially sound and viable.

    Government corporation debts generate net income for Government

    Importantly, the interest on this debt is fully serviced by the commercial operation of the GOC. It does not bear upon the public purse. Moreover, the financial operations of the GOC that pay the interest bill also, in most cases, generate dividends into Consolidated Revenue. So this sector of the supposed ‘problem’ is in fact a net income to the Govt, and not a liability.

    What proportion does GOC debt comprise within the entire black mass of it that the Newman Government is ululating as the harbinger of impending State doom and a just cause for wholesale exorcism of public sector jobs and services?

    If the GOC debt is a substantial proportion of the whole, then the Newman Govt is being either economically moronic or grotesquely and deceitfully ideological. However, is it any better for people to lose their jobs and essential services to gross stupidity rather than to socio-economic eugenics?

  12. (Please remove previous draft, in which 2nd copy of single URL was accidentally included, Professor Quiggin.)

    Campbell Newman’s claimed economic foundations

    of 9 August by Greg Wood

    Economically moronic or grossly ideological? Which description best fits the Cando Newan government’s excuse for massive and cruel job losses and public service cuts? Here is an expose of Queensland Treasury’s base and baseless rationale for austerity.

    Melodramatic economic rhetoric frankly misleading

    The Qld Treasurer, Mark McArdle, appeared on ABC local radio today. He used the opportunity to re-iterate the litany of abysmal financial debt left to ‘Queenslanders’ by the previous ALP Govt. and the attendant need for austere severity by the new Government. In describing this dark legacy he included the debt held by Government Owned Corporations (GOC’s).

    Shortly afterward a caller to the station correctly identified the Treasurer’s description as incorrect and misleading. GOC’s hold debt within their balance sheets as a normal part of their commercial operations, as do all private corporations. Such debt levels are kept transparently and within thresholds deemed to be commercially sound and viable.

    Government corporation debts generate net income for Government

    Importantly, the interest on this debt is fully serviced by the commercial operation of the GOC. It does not bear upon the public purse. Moreover, the financial operations of the GOC that pay the interest bill also, in most cases, generate dividends into Consolidated Revenue. So this sector of the supposed ‘problem’ is in fact a net income to the Govt, and not a liability.

    What proportion does GOC debt comprise within the entire black mass of it that the Newman Government is ululating as the harbinger of impending State doom and a just cause for wholesale exorcism of public sector jobs and services?

    If the GOC debt is a substantial proportion of the whole, then the Newman Govt is being either economically moronic or grotesquely and deceitfully ideological. However, is it any better for people to lose their jobs and essential services to gross stupidity rather than to socio-economic eugenics?

  13. JQ. Earlier I posted some comments in response to SATP@30. As they haven’t appeared, I suspect they went into moderation due to an invalid email address. I have now corrected this and, hopefully, all will be well.

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