Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Political Ads - *OUR* Money

The NSW State Labor Government plans to run advertisements afor its 10-Year State Plan. According to the media, the NSW Labor government is spending nearly $10 million of taxpers money on government advertising (http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/bill-for-taxpayerfunded-ads-tops-s10m/2006/08/21/1156012473975.html).

Research for a Senate inquiry into Federal Coalition government advertising included recommendations that the Auditor-General view and have a say in government advertising, and that there are shortcomings in levels of accountability. It noted that in 2004-2005, the Federal Coalition government spent $138 million of taxpayers money promoting itself.

As a taxpayer, I object to ANY government spending our money on self-promoting government ads. Political parties have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo - that is, we taxpayers foot the bill for political ads!

Last year the Federal Government spent $55m of our money promoting "workchoices" as being good for everybody; that it is good that the (independent) Federal Industrial Relations Court no longer determines wages, but a Commission, effectively under Ministerial control.

Whichever government does it, this is wrong. There needs to be independent auditing and approval for government advertising campaigns, especially costly ones. We need to tell our political parties that this is wrong, and we want them to be more accountable.

Remember there is a State election next March; and a Federal election due before the end of 2007!

The Analyst