Who could not be in favour of helping the disabled? Who wants to pay for that help?

The delectable Philippa Martyr writes in Quadrant Magazine:

The Federal government has recently committed $1 billion to start up a National Disability Insurance Scheme for as many as 20,000 people with serious lifetime disabilities, and their carers and families.

This certainly makes a nice change from cuddling up to a union that has plundered the wages of the very workforce that helps to care for these people.

However, here are some of the ways in which the NDIS – a scheme which is supposed to help genuinely disadvantaged people who are doing it really, really tough – could have been funded from as far back as 2007, when this government was first elected.

  • Estimated cost of the unnecessary pink batts scheme, whose graft and waste is well-documented: $2.45 billion, followed by another $424 million to fix the dangerous installations
  • Estimated cost of the Building the Education Revolution scheme, ditto: $16.2 billion
  • Estimated cost (so far) of the National Broadband Network, as WiFi conquers the known universe: at least $36 billion
  • Resources available to the Climate Change ministerial portfolio in 2010-2011, to fix a ‘problem’ whose tractability and indeed existence is questionable: $1.57 billion
  • Labor’s ‘literacy and numeracy partnership’ (4 years) which has produced no measurable improvements in either: $540 million
  • The dramatically unsuccessful Productivity Places Program which was so badly administered that it is impossible to tell who benefited from it, if anyone: $2.1 billion

Sadly, this catalogue of over-administered political bankruptcy tends to point to one conclusion: the NDIS will become just another unauditable and potentially tragic botch-up. Only time will tell.

Only $1 billion on the latest feel good scheme. That’s only $50 from every every Australian resident. We should probably be grateful. The NBN looks like costing more than $50 billion. That’s at least $6000 from every household – for an internet connection.

I have written about the utter madness of the NBN before, but let me say that again. A minimum of $6000 per household for an internet connection, an amount you will pay through taxation whether you need an internet connection or not.

Perhaps we wouldn’t mind the incredible cost if we were getting an incredible product. But the NBN relies on technology that was outdated before it even began. Most households, even those that connect to the NBN’s overpriced services, would have been better off with newer, mostly wireless, technologies that would have been introduced had the market just been allowed to do its thing.