Hockey's spin bill spinning out of control

Senate Estimates always reveals one or two key facts about what the government has been up to. Today was no exception...



The Abbott Government has spent at least $650,000 of taxpayer money to work out how to spin its long-overdue Tax White Paper.

This news was revealed today in Senate Estimates, and comes on top of the discovery that the government is gearing up to spend over $300,000 on advertising for the Intergenerational Report.

The Tax White Paper was set to be released in December but the Abbott Government has been sitting on it since then. 

It now appears that Treasurer Joe Hockey has been hiding the document while he gets advice from no less than four communications agencies about how to advertise it to Australians.

Under questioning in Estimates, Treasury officials indicated that Joe Hockey had insisted on paying for advice on how to tell Australians about his new tax plans. The contracts for this work were let out in December and January – presumably once the Treasurer worked out Australians wouldn’t welcome unfair tax proposals like raising the GST. 

These contracts included spending of over $79,000 for polling, more than $360,000 for communications advice and $101,000 to develop a ‘brand architecture’ for the tax review.      

It’s amazing to think that the Government is spending taxpayer dollars on focus groups and market research in the lead up to what is itself a consultation process.

Policy and decision-making paralysis rules the roost with the Abbott Government.

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