Snip snip snip – Audit Commission reshapes government as we know it
The Commission of Audit’s recent report advised the Federal Government to adopt several controversial policies, such as raising Medicare co-payments from $6 to $15, cutting more than the 12,000 public sector jobs already promised by Abbott, and introducing tougher means testing of the Disability Support Pension.
The Wire’s Annie Hastwell invited CPD’s Christopher Stone to share his insight on this report as well as on the historical function of such Commissions.
Chris described the current report as ‘political theatre’, which assists in ‘framing the government’s policies as more moderate by putting forth worse alternatives’. Compared to previous reports which were so dramatic they were never released to the public and were ‘buried’, this one is comparatively well received, and some policies may be adopted.
Although the Commission is an independent body, Chris noted that it is ‘heavily weighted towards business and business perspective and is probably fairly strongly ideologically aligned with the government’. Chris also criticised the narrow approach the Commission took in looking only at areas in which the role of government could be contracted while overlooking areas in which it could be expanded. The Commission has, ‘only looked at one side of a very complex equation’.