News: How we can afford better services.

News reports that the WA Government may lose its AAA credit rating while prison officers, education and health support staff have rallied for fair pay begs the question: Can we afford better services?

Mining royalty income has fallen as commodity prices have come down, but this needs to be put in context. 

In the recent Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) Statement the Australian Treasury estimates that there are still $260 billion in resource projects in the pipeline that will not be affected by recent falls in commodity prices.

Since coming to office mining royalties enjoyed by the Barnett  Government have more than doubled and still stand at around $4 billion a year.

The recently announced opening of the Premier’s new office, at a cost $26 million, is a reminder that it is priorities that matter when judging  Governments and their Budgets.

There have been other recent reminders of bad decisions and poor priorities, including pays rises for Western Power executives at a time when electricity costs have been souring.

The really expensive decisions are telling.  The Barnett Government has parked into a Future Fund a billion dollars when the money would be better spent for existing needs.

Another $400 million of public money has gone towards the Elizabeth Quay city development and $1.2 billion for the inner city Burswood Stadium.

Contrast those decisions with reports of deaths at Graylands Hospital which have put the spot light on cost cutting and the need for improved mental health services.

Despite school bullying being a concern, the Barnett Government proposes to privatise centres for disruptive students.

Public sector workers who perform dangerous jobs such as prison officers and hospital and school cleaners and support staff who are poorly paid, have voiced their claim for fairer pay.

We all benefit when our prisons are safe or when our hospitals are properly cleaned or teachers and our students better supported.

Those are among the priorities for Save Our Services. 

You can help share the message.