Unhappy at inefficient welfare payments? Getting hot under the collar at Treaty payouts? Relax, you could be an Australian taxpayer, where for every $250,000 delivered to Aboriginal families it costs $220,000 to deliver it.
I would bet if the same comparison was made here it would alarm and awful lot of people.
I DO not think that welfarism minister Jenny Macklin has yet had the acclaim she deserves for a great Labor achievement announced this week – that government spending on indigenous Australians has reached, in average, about $250,000 per Aboriginal family a year. Macklin’s own solid contribution has been to increase this sum by about 10 per cent, or $25,000 a family, since Julia Gillard took Labor into minority government.
This, in the right hands, would be more than enough to put every Aboriginal child in a top GPS private school – indeed boarding schools for the remote-living ones, plus full private health insurance, flash cars, rentals or mortgages in the better suburbs and, probably, pheasant under glass for dinner every other day. Even if a proportion squandered a bit on grog and drugs, as some politicians do, there would probably be enough left over to ensure that no one was undernourished.
All that stands between now and this ideal state of affairs is the passage of most of this money directly to Aborigines, instead of the present system, which sees the transition ”mediated” by white public servants at a cost, per Aboriginal family, of an average of about $220,000 a year. Under Macklin, the Aboriginal family averages only about $30,000, and, for many, even the spending of that is carefully and paternalistically ”managed” by Auntie Jenny.
There are, on average, nearly two non-Aboriginal public servants ministering to the ”needs” of Aboriginal people for every Aboriginal family. That may be as many as 100,000 people, once one counts or fractions in health workers, teachers, policemen, social workers and the risk managers, bookkeepers, equal opportunity officers, army public relations people, human resource managers and co-ordinators-general required to keep their shows on the road.
In some regions, such as the Northern Territory, and the more rural parts of NSW, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia, white folk living off the dollar generated by Aboriginal need is what passes as industry.
These selfless people cannot do it in a vacuum, of course. They require Toyotas, computers, housing, water, sewerage, hardship allowances, guarantees of personal safety and so on – all indeed before any such things are delivered to the subjects of their attentions. Who could begrudge them? That spending activity – again going almost invariably to non-Aborigines – creates, as in Canberra, a ”private sector” of accountants, dentists, union organisers, Labor members of parliament and so on, to service them. A wonderful system, the more so for the moral certainty of its current administrators, that they know best, that their measures are saving one half of each family from the other half, that they are, somehow, in a process of ”weaning” these overdependent people from their addiction to welfare and sitting down, and that they are also Closing The Gap on Aboriginal disadvantage. Each debatable.
Have a look at Family Start in South Auckland…and you will see exactly the same bullshit happening here.