A Question of Priorities

There are so many conflicting messages from the Rudd Government. Like the proverbial two-handed economist, the Labor sultans of spin have a convenient justification for their inconsistency.

At the risk of getting another less than complimentary email from a Canberra-based member of the fourth estate, I’d like to highlight yet another area where I think the Rudd Government has got it wrong.

I am sure it will come as no surprise that it has to do with money.

Labor’s approach to managing our economy is sending our nation into an unprecedented level of debt. Hundreds of billions of dollars are being borrowed from domestic and international financiers to keep the Rudd Government in power.

Of course, it is a debt that will have to be repaid but the Government hasn’t given much thought to that. Their future budget forecasts are based on wildly optimistic assumptions and do not detail a plan to pay back the result of their reckless spending.

However, there is one matter that I find simply astounding and it has to do with foreign aid.

The Rudd Government has committed to increasing Australia’s foreign aid by around $2 billion. Some will see this as a laudable aim, and indeed it might well be – when we actually have some spare money to give.

However, in a time when we are borrowing hundreds of billions from overseas nations and important domestic pressures are so great, why are we increasing the amount of money we are sending to other countries?

Why are we spending borrowed money to build infrastructure in communist countries?

When there is a crisis of confidence in Labor’s ability to manage our finances, why are we funding ‘improving the effectiveness of government’ programs in other nations?

These and many other programs may indeed be important and justifiable when we have budgets in surplus and strong growth prospects. However, to borrow money from overseas only to send it back to the lenders as an interest-bearing gift should be very hard for this Government to justify to the Australian people.

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