Waste of $10,560,000 by The Prime Minister plus How Much More?

URGENT UPDATE (18/12/2008):  This letter is actually being sent to four million pensioners and other welfare recipients AND two million families AND an estimated 20% to support persons for the pensioners alone – at $1.32 per letter – that’s almost ELEVEN MILLION DOLLARS spent telling six million Australians something that has been in the press, on the TV and on the radio since October.  Well done, Mr. Rudd and Mr. Swann.

What else could we have done with Eleven Million Dollars – as a one off payment?   Any comments?

URGENT UPDATE (18/12/2008) : This letter is actually being sent to every person who is going to receive the benefit. Using Peter Garrett’s figure of 4,000,000 recipients and an estimated 20% having a copy sent to an associated person or organization, (at an estimated cost of $1.32 per letter) – the Federal Government has spent well over SIX MILLION DOLLARS just telling recipients that they are going to get the money. Added to all the radio, TV and newspaper advertising, this campaign by the Federal Government is costing………HOW MUCH???????? This is a serious question for a Senate Review Committee.

Tell your Federal Member of Parliament that this money (spent promoting the Federal Government’s actions) should have been better spent.

List of Federal Politicians

Get their email address from this link to the Australian Parliament House.

11/12/2008 Today, I received a copy of a letter sent to one of my clients on the apparent “joint letterhead” of The Hon Jenny Macklin MP and Senator The Hon Joe Ludwig, with a Centrelink address in NSW (2143). In the letter, they “advise” my client that she will receive either the single or the married Economic Security Strategy Payment, depending on her marital status, as the holder of a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.

Since her benefit was not quoted, it appears that the privacy rules prevented them from looking at the Centrelink data base, even though they quoted her Centrelink CRN and sourced her mailing address from there.

Question? What does Peter Garrett’s office have to do with Centrelink?

At an estimated cost of $1.32 per letter (accessing data base, printing, packaging, postage) being sent to 320,000 individuals and probably another 100,000 being sent to their nominees means that, for CSHC holders alone, over $500,000 has been spent promoting the Federal Politicians, using Centrelink’s data base and undoubtedly Centrelink’s budget.

If it was indeed necessary to do this mailout through Centrelink, it should have been done on Centrelink letterhead – not that of Federal Politicians – Ministers or not.

This is blatant politicking, of the worst kind, after all the media, TV and radio press regarding these payments.  It is a political rort and political rot!

We would love to hear what you think about this!

About Lesley Dewar

Passionate about story telling and getting kids involved with adventures to improve their self esteem and self-confidence Blogger, Author, Networker, Social Media, Activist.
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8 Responses to Waste of $10,560,000 by The Prime Minister plus How Much More?

  1. Pingback: » Waste of $500,000+ by Federal Politicians

  2. Sascha James Kenny says:

    Dear Lesley
    Thank you for your email to Amanda Rishworth MP regarding the expenditure of the Economic Stimulus Package. As Amanda is in meetings all day, I thought it best to respond to your email myself in order to give you the promptest possible reply.
    I visited the website https://notallpoppies.wordpress.com/ and have this to say about some of it’s major points.

    Firstly, as you know, the Government injected $10.4 billion into the Australian economy as part of the Economic Stimulus Package. This money was designed to promote growth in the Australian economy and unclog credit channels, by encouraging Australians to spend the lump sum payment on their Christmas expenses.

    This money would ideally filter down to business, and create chains of prosperity designed to ward off negative growth in the next quarter. This scheme would not be effective if the Australian public were not completely aware that they were receiving the payment, and there would be the possibility that many people would be unaware that they had received the payment and consequently not spend the money delivered to them. This would be disastrous economically.

    Thus there was an absolute responsibility for the Government to do everything it could to make sure that Australians who received payment were informed about it.

    How disastrous? Well to put this in perspective; your article claims that S10, 560, 000 was spent on letterboxing. This sounds like a big number, but actually equates to approximately 0.1% of the Economic Stimulus Package. If one speculates about the risk associated with freezing even 1% of the ESP (approximately $100 000 000) by lack of information, there is immediately a clear pragmatic reason for mailing everyone who receives a payment.

    I ask you to look very seriously at the actual figures and statistics here; they are crucially important to understanding the relative nature of these figures.

    Secondly, many of the people who received payments were pensioners/disability support pensioners. Statistically, many of these people will not be informed by the Internet, television, or even the radio. Many of these payments were delivered to rural and community areas in the North of Australia, where people do not have access to these technologies. As the payments go directly into people’s bank accounts, many of these people may not have been informed.

    Again, I put forward the simple economic equation: risk wasting $10 billion ($10 400 000 000) or spend $10.6 million (10 560 000) to ensure it gets spent?

    If you can think of a better way to alert these demographics of people, please write to us as your suggestion would be well received.
    If there is anything further we can help you with, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

    Yours sincerely
    Sascha James Kenny
    Amanda Rishworth MP
    Federal Member for Kingston
    232 Main South Road
    ph: 8186 2588
    fax: 8186 2688

  3. Lesley Dewar says:

    Thank you for your response, Sashcha. It will be an interesting question to be answered in the February 2009 Senate Estimates Committee Hearings to know exactly how much WAS spent by the Federal Government on the promotion of this handout:
    * postage (paid)
    *radio advertising (paid)
    *TV advertising (paid)

    On 30th September, 2008, The Hon Lindsay Tanner (Federal Finance Minister) rejected an interim handout to pensioners, because, he says, it would inevitably become permanent.

    On 14th October, 2008, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced lump sum payments worth $4.8 billion to pensioners, $3.9 billion to low and middle income families, and $1.5 billion for first home buyers.

    From the ALP Website of 14th October 2008, we quote “The Rudd Government will deliver a $4.8 billion down payment to Australia’s four million pensioners, carers, seniors and veterans – providing them with immediate financial help in the lead up to comprehensive reform of the pension …………Payments are intended to provide additional support in the nine months between now and when long-term reforms are introduced from the beginning of the next financial year.
    The global financial crisis is placing increasing pressure on budgets already stretched by the rising cost of living.
    That is why we are taking decisive action to provide support to pensioners while reforms to the pension system are being finalised……. “end of quote

    Please let me how this can be reconciled with the subsequent urging of the PM and others to SPEND, SPEND, SPEND, SPEND IT NOW!

    The media frenzy which followed for the two months from the date of the announcement to the time the payments began to be made left not person in this country either unaware that the money was coming nor that it was their patriotic duty to spend it now! The original purpose of the funding – to provide a DOWNPAYMENT to tide Centrelink recipients over until the May review was lost in the stupid, greedy, rush to the trashy tinsel town we call Christmas shopping. And come May 2009, when the budget reviews are complete – this DOWNPAYMENT will be recalled as having been the first payment made by a devious, manipulating, populist Government that will have wasted a $10.4 Billion opportunity for genuine reform.

  4. Lesley Dewar says:

    Actually, it is now well publicised that the cost is $28,000,000. Twenty eight million dollars. But there will be many more questions to be answered about the way in which this has been handled by the Federal Government. http://is.gd/ekxH

  5. Lesley Dewar says:

    Dear Mr Dewar

    Thank you for your email regarding the Labor Government’s promotion of pensioner payments.

    The level of taxpayer funded advertisements by both the Federal and state Labor Governments is of great concern. At a time when the government is purportedly looking to slash spending, to embark on such advertising campaigns seems nonsensical.

    Liberal Senator Guy Barnett will soon be launching a waste watch website. I hope that this will let the public know exactly how much of the taxpayer’s money is being spent on advertising and spin.

    Yours sincerely

    Simon Birmingham

    Senator for South Australia

  6. Lesley Dewar says:

    Thank you for your response, Senator Birmingham. It has been posted in the comments section of our website.

    https://notallpoppies.wordpress.com under the topic relating to this spending.

    I appreciate you taking the time to respond to our concerns. (Mrs) Lesley Dewar

  7. Lesley Dewar says:

    The Minister for Climate Change and Water, Senator the Hon Penny Wong, has received the attached correspondence.

    As the matter that has been raised comes more appropriately under the Tresury (sic) Deparmtent’s (sic) responsibilities, it has been referred for your (sic) consideration and appropriate action.

    Please note that this correspondence has not been acknowledged.

  8. Lesley Dewar says:

    With spelling like this, maybe it’s just as well that the Minister did not acknowledge the correspondence.

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