It probably won’t come as a shock to anybody reading this, but the government is growing. A few billion in bail-outs, a few billion in hand-outs, a few billion in stimulus… and pretty soon we’re talking about real money.
I was curious about how much spending had gone up, so I checked the government’s latest publication — the Updated Economic and Fiscal Outlook. While their reporting is as transparent as a brick wall, the information is hidden in their somewhere, and after a bit of magic the truth was revealed.
The size of the commonwealth government has increased from about 24% to about 28% in less than a year.
In Rudd’s first budget he estimated that 2008/09 spending would be 23.8% of GDP. In the first update that was revised up to 24.9% of GDP. And in the latest estimates it is now up to 27.6% of GDP.That’s an increase of 3.8%.
In an essay written for the Whitlam Institute, John Quiggin has argued that the size of government in Australia (commonwealth, state & local combined) should increase by five percent. It looks like he’s going to get his wish.
For those of us who dream of a smaller government and more individual freedom, current trends are worrying. The Rudd government is fast turning from ordinary to bad to downright scary with their pursuit of over-regulation, over-spending and government ownership… mixed with censorship, proposed restrictions on philanthropy and war on everything.
And even more scary is the fact that most Australians seem to like him.