Andrew Bolt brings our attention to yet another incredible waste of taxpayer money – this time by foreign affairs minister Julie Bishop:
The Turnbull Government is nearly $500 billion in debt.
Yet it still finds money, in this age of teleconferencing, for this:
Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop will take the unprecedented step of recalling more than 100 of Australia’s senior diplomats in a bid to shape the Turnbull government’s foreign policy
A total of 113 ambassadors, high commissioners and consuls-general will return for three days next month in an Australian first, according to Fairfax Media.
It’s estimated the meeting will cost almost $1.2 million, mostly in international flights and accommodation.
There is no way 113 diplomats will all have a finger in drafting the government’s foreign policy. Nor is it likely that they will all get to speak at the two-day meeting.
I was not much impressed by the Foreign Minister’s excuse:
“There is no new money required and I believe it’s a very efficient and effective way of hearing from them on their experiences, observations, their real-time experiences,” she told reporters in Canberra this morning.
“No new money” required? But what of the money actually being spent? That could have been returned to taxpayers, right? Or used to pay off the debt.
And isn’t the government trying to cut our emissions?
Obviously, the concept of ‘no new money’ is an absolute insult to the intelligence of those of us who are not members of the 20 watt club.
However, in one sense, Bishop is right: she’s only spending the extraordinary raise she was given by Turnbull in last year’s post-coup federal budget. As noted by TMR at the time:
Julie Bishop has done very well for herself. The foreign affairs and economic aid portfolio will get a very healthy increase of $620 million (11.3%). I wonder why this spending item was prioritised?