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Cheers - AE

Monday, 21 September 2009

Tax dollars at work.

Terrific. Courtesy of the Commonwealth Government We've gone and bought a piece of Birmingham. I'd go and look at what we've got for our taxes but for two reasons. Firstly I've seen it before and secondly, and more significantly, it's TEN THOUSAND FUCKING MILES AWAY.
The Australian taxpayer is to become the joint-owner of Birmingham’s Bullring after Land Securities sold its stake in the shopping centre for £210 million.

The Future Fund, which invests on behalf of the Australian Government, will own a third of the Bullring alongside Hammerson and Henderson Global Investors. The price tag reflects a 6.85 per cent net yield.
I'm sure many people would wonder why they can't spend the money on something here (fair shake of the fucking sauce bottle, eh, Kevin*) but I hope I'm not the only one wondering why it's being spent at all. Give it back, you bastards. If you can afford to buy into a fucking shopping centre in the West Midlands you could have afforded to reduce the fucking taxes and let each of us - the fuckers who earned the fucking money in the first place, remember? - decide for ourselves what to do with it. Maybe it's a good investment and maybe not, but that isn't the point. Even if it pays for itself by an order of magnitude the point is whether or not managing a commercial property portfolio should be a fucking government function. If that money, and it's very nearly $400 million by the way, could produce a huge return on investment in the hands of a really good card player would the government do it? Would voters let them? Of course not, so why the fuck does everyone think it's okay for the bastards can just fling cash around on shit like this?

And who are the Future Fund and what exactly are they doing with taxpayers' money in the first place? Well, this explains a lot (my emphasis):
The Australian Government Future Fund is an independently managed investment fund into which the Australian Government deposits its budget surplus. The purpose of the fund is to meet the government's future liabilities for the payment of superannuation** to retired civil servants of the Australian Public Service.
Ah, right. So the way this works is that when they've taken even more money than they actually needs to cover the cost of essential government functions, plus all the other shit just about every fucking government in the industrialised world seems to think they should be doing as well, they get to spend what's left over on investments to pay the superannuation funds of retirees. Retirees whose working lives were spent working for the government on either essential functions or all the other shit that just about every fucking government in the industrialised world seems to think they should be be doing as well. Or to put it more succinctly, we get taxed more now to pay for the retirements of some of the people who are the reason we got taxed more in the past. Have I got that right?
The stated aim of the fund is to hold AUD $140 billion by 2020; this figure would free up AUD $7 billion in superannuation payments each year from the federal budget.
If those are our options I suppose I'd say buy the fucking Bullring if you must. But if the alternative is having to fork out $7 billion a year I'd say that some shit decisions were made in the past. Could it possibly be that, like Britain, public sector workers have had bloody sweet pension deals compared to the private sector? I've never troubled myself to find out but according to the back of the nearest envelope $7 billion is about 500 bucks from each taxpayer. Per year.

Some choice, eh.

UPDATE: Might be early but there's next to nothing in the media here about it. Funny that.

* The prick.
** Pensions in other words, but they call 'em superannuation funds here.
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