Mar 262007

"Nick Minchin has let the cat out of the bag this morning, he’s admitted that the Future Fund will comfortably meet its target by 2020, well ahead of schedule" – Wayne Swan
ABC News Online

Well, maybe Nick did and maybe he didn’t allow the feline freedom. This is politics at it’s most desperate. It’s "he said", "no I didn’t" type of stuff you’d normally hear in a junior school yard.

The bottom line with Labor’s plan to tap the sequestered government Telstra share holdings from it’s cleverly constructed ’future fund’ in order to provide Australians with a communications network the rest of the developed world already has, is valid. Why? Consider, Telstra is public owned, or at least it was. Major portions are still owned by private Australian investors so effectively, the Australian public in one form or another still has a major stake in the proceeds of the government sell down of it’s stewardship. Placing said proceeds into a uniquely targeted investment medium aimed solely at provisioning the superannuation requirements of federal public servants is hardly acting in the interests of all Australians. More to the point, it’s acting in the interests of a relatively small sector of highly paid potential superannuants.

Tapping an investment fund to the tune of $2.7b in order to provide all Australians with access to high-speed broadband communications is to the benefit of the entire national interest. The purpose of the future fund, isn’t. If what Nick Minchin rather obliquely alluded to in his statements this morning happens to be true, as Wayne Swan wants everyone to believe, then 1.93% of an accumulated investment fund which is slated to reach it’s accrual target of $140b over the next thirteen years is hardly going to scratch the surface in that accrual process. The potential benefits of that 1.93% far outweigh the somewhat bogeyman-ish hysteria currently flowing from the government benches.

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