Tony Abbott’s Arse Selling!
As a follow up from my last post, and after a number of comments, I started thinking
about privatisation, and what it means for us, the voting public.
Now I wrote my last post, not realising that it would come out on the same day that that financial genius, one P Costello, (the man who will always be remembered for the fire sale of our gold reserves, amongst other things) releases the second instalment of the QLD audit (Must have been just a happy? coincidence 😯 )
The question is, “can anyone cite an example of privatisation that has benefited the public?” cos I’m buggered if I can think of one.
Telstra 1 & 2 were classic examples of privatisation, and were unmitigated disasters for investors, despite Little Johnny Howard’s protestations that it would be the best investment since……. well ever! (“Little” being a description of his visionary prowess)
But like so many other selloffs, service, price and arguably more importantly maintenance of infrastructure were and are the main casualties.
Another example is transport, where for instance bus services are outsourced and subsidised by state governments, but maintenance takes a back seat (pardon the pun) to profits, leaving low paid drivers to work with poorly maintained and in some cases dangerous busses.
As previously stated (on my last post), many government services are never going to produce a profit, so why would private enterprise be interested in taking them on?
Well there are two main reasons;
- Because where there is no hope of profitability, government have to provide generous subsidies to make it profitable for the prospective business. ( Government working on the false economy that they will not be financially responsible for the administration, location etc of said service, which in reality are all components of the subsidy)
- That the service can be “modified” to become profitable by cuts or shortcuts to the service and its delivery ie; performance targets, times set for basic service provision (not taking into account varying circumstances or alternatively negotiating extra payments for said circumstance variations over and above what has been agreed to in the original contract).
Either way, the government may make some savings after the initial selloff (which are quite often at bargain prices), but at the expense to consumers by way of inferior services and delivery, putting the onus on said consumer to look for better quality services by paying for them, themselves if they can afford it, or if not, putting up with poor service and delivery, to the detriment of their health and lifestyle.
Again, those that can least afford it ie; pensioners, the disabled and those from the lower socioeconomic demographics are the ones that ultimately pay.
The fact is that Costello’s recommendations to Newman, will be the same sort of recommendations that he will make to Abbott in the Costello audit that the LNP commission (already alluded to by Hockey) if they win government in September.
Arsegate for Beginners was written to emphasise the point that Abbott would do pretty much anything to win government at any cost, referring to his comment to the independents, about selling his arse, but arsegate morphed into a generic term for LNP corruption.
Why you may ask am I mentioning this?
Well the truth is he can’t sell his arse, cos it already belongs to Murdoch, but if he gets half a chance, he will sell ours!