#abs

Q&A and Kiwi Envy

Oh, the irony.  Q&A, the climate change fearing ABC program, decided to fly to Fiji, belching harmful CO2 along the way to host the show and talk about the potential for climate refugees in the Pacific from rising sea levels and Kiwi envy.

First off the bat, if the ABC want to endorse the Kiwi envy narrative, Q&A might consider the funding structure and staffing levels of TVNZ while they’re at it. Maybe that way the broadcaster could arrest the long term slump in ratings and fix the discontented workforce.

CM wrote six months ago in regards to this,

If you want to look at why the ABC doesn’t need more money, look at the staff costs to income ratio. Despite plateauing between 2008 & 2011 it quickly exploded. It now sits at 46% of tax dollars appropriated. That is $524mn on staff costs per year and rising. 4,939 staff grace the ABC. Revenue per employee is $232,000. A decade ago it was $232,700. Is that what the management target is for hiring? Give the ABC $2bn and presumably, it will have employment costs of $1bn.

Maybe ABC should channel the New Zealand state broadcaster, TVNZ. It gets $310m of its $318m purse from advertising. It’s staff costs excluding capitalizing into programs is $72m which converts to 23% staff cost/revenues. They do with 642 FT employees. Revenue/employee is $495,000. It paid a dividend back to the government of $3.7m. i.e. it is a revenue-generating asset.

In 2007, TVNZ had $339m in revenue. It employed 1,023 people. Therefore revenue per employee was $331,380. So in a decade, TVNZ efficiency improved almost 50%. A 6% cut to revenue on 63% of the staff.

How envious are you now ABC? Thought so.

As to rising sea levels and climate refugees. Virginie K. E. Duvat of the Institut du Littoral et de l’Environnement, University of la Rochelle-CNRS, La Rochelle sponsored by the French National Research Agency; French Ministry of Environment, Energy and Oceans (MEEM) wrote.

Analysis “using tide gauges and satellites showed 30 Pacific and Indian Ocean atolls including 709 islands, revealed that no atoll lost land area and that 88.6% of islands were either stable or increased in area, while only 11.4% contracted.

So where are these climate refugees really coming from?

Then there was the demand that Australia gives up on coal mining. Suppose we do. We should then tell our Pacific neighbours that we can’t afford to cut multi $100mn cheques every year so they can waste it like PNG did on buying 40 Maserati Quattroporte sports sedans as government cars. Give them an option – no coal and no cash or coal and cash? We know which will be selected.

Yet CM loves the garbage espoused in the SMH which continues its hard-left bent, even after being acquired. One would have hoped lessons would be learnt. Clearly not. The SMH folded to the groupthink attack on the Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Alex Hawke for not being like NZ.

Perhaps Q&A might look at the facts there too. Remember when the media was fawning all over NZ PM Jacinda Ardern’s Wellness Budget? The idea that a budget should be solely based on economics is not progressive and more should be directed at “well-being”. That is not to say this budget is not “well-intentioned”. However, the statistics compared to across the ditch do not fare well on relative terms.

Comparing her recent policies versus Australia reveals the kangaroos get better access to social services than the kiwis. How surprising that none of the mainstream media bothered to look at the budget numbers on a like for like basis? Just praise her because she represents their ideal version of a socialist leader.  CM has looked through both budgets and adjusted for currency to make for easier like-for-like comparisons.

When it comes to health spending per capita (currency-adjusted), Australia is expected to climb from A$3,324 in 2019 to A$3,568 in 2022. NZ is expected to go up slightly from A$3,516 to A$3,561 respectively.

On social security and welfare, Australia is expected to pay out A$7,322 per capita in 2019, growing to A$7,977. NZ, on the other hand, is forecast to go from A$5,573 per head to A$6,489.

On mental health, Australia forked out around A$9.1bn exclusively on these services reaching 4.2m citizens last year. NZ is planning on spending A$45.1m in 2019 with a total of A$428m by 2023/24 to hit 325,000 people on frontline services for mental health. While the move is a positive one, NZ will allocate A$1.78bn to mental health as a whole over 5 years. On an annualised basis, Australia will still allocate 5x the NZ amount to mental health per capita. So much for wellbeing.

On education, NZ plans to increase per capita spending 7.9% between 2019 and 2022 whereas Australia will lift it 12.5% over the same period. NZ spends around 2x Australia per capita on education although PISA scores between 2006 and 2015 are virtually identical (and both heading south).

On public housing, Ardern can claim a victory. Australia is expected to cut spending per capita from A$240 in 2019 to A$194 in 2022 when NZ will go from A$137 to A$282. Although let’s hope Ardern has more success than her KiwiBuild policy. The Australian’s Judith Sloan rightly pointed out,

“Ardern also has stumbled with other policies, most notably KiwiBuild. The pledge was to build 100,000 additional affordable homes by 2028.

It has since been modified to facili­tation by the government to help build new homes. Moreover, the definition of afford­ability has been altered from between $NZ350,000 ($340,000) and $NZ450,000 to $NZ650,000.

What started off as an ill-considered public housing project has turned out to be an extremely unsuccessful private real estate scam. The government estimated that there would be 1000 homes built last year under KiwiBuild; it turned out to be 47.”

In the process, NZ’s national debt per capita will grow from A$21,550 in 2019 to A$25,206 by 2022. Australia will climb from A$22,764 to A$23,293.

Look at page 119 of the NZ Wellbeing Budget, we can see the government is forecasting the economy to slow and unemployment to rise.

As we wrote several months ago, the statistics that Aussies are about to pack their bags and head of to NZ are not supported. CM wrote,

“According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there are 568,000 New Zealanders in Australia, or more than double the total 3-decades ago. Therefore more than 11% of the Kiwi population lives in Australia. At last census count, 35,000 New Zealanders migrated to Australia in 2018.

According to the New Zealand Statistics Bureau, 38,700 Aussies live in New Zealand. In the January 2018 year, 24,900 migrants arrived from Australia and a similar number departed for Australia.

Stats NZ stated, “Over half of migrants arriving from Australia are actually returning Kiwis who have been living across the Tasman for more than a year…The number of migrants going back and forth to Australia in the past year almost balanced each other out – the net gain was just 40 people in the last 12 months.”

As socialists love to point out, “feelings matter far more than facts“. Just goes to show how easily people will fall for a catchy headline, rather than judge it on its merits. Time the “woke” wake up from this slumber. By all means, celebrate more recognition of higher mental health spending but best put it in perspective. Jacinda Ardern is ordinary.

Jacinda Ardern may sell her dream much better to the woke set, but give me ScoMo any day. Kiwi envy? Really.

Queensland & unpublished data supplied by the Treasury

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Where is Queensland headed? CM was looking at data on the Queensland Treasury’s website and noticed the words “unpublished ABS trade data” which one assumes to be superior to “published ABS trade data.” Hopefully, the boffins at the ABS were happy for this to be released. It is amazing what one can find hidden away in government websites. The question is, do politicians ever bother to look at what drives the economy?

If Queensland politicians want to cut down on the 4-yr high jobless rate, fossil fuels have to be on the cards, regardless of the ideological position of the incumbent Labor government to pander to climate change activism. There is no escaping that coal, gas and minerals will be the mainstay of policy as they account for 80% of the output.

Since Labor Premier Anastasia Palaszczuk took office in 2015, Queensland’s unemployment has breached 6.5% in recent months, back toward levels when she started and the highest on the eastern seaboard. Gross State Product (GSP) has fallen from a 7-yr high of 4.2% annualised to 2.2% in the latest quarterly update.

Why are there so many chiefs but so few Indians in the APS?

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Did you know that your Australia Public Service (APS) at a federal level is becoming more bloated among executive management ranks?  According to the APS website, “An APS Level 6 employee would generally be required to undertake work that is complex in nature, work under limited direction with the opportunity for reasonable autonomy and accountability. Employees at this level exercise both initiative and judgment in the interpretation of policy and in the application of practices and procedures.

This first chart highlights the level of APS Level 6 (and above) positions as a percentage of total staff. It is not an exhaustive list of every single department or agency but a large cut of the main ones. CM left out the Australian Tax Office (ATO) for obvious reasons. Although a post-divorce audit wouldn’t reveal very much…we also left out the Department of Defence due to the inconsistency in the annual report data.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) is the worst offender, with over 85% of the staff classified as APS level 6 or higher. A marginal lift on a decade ago. CM already reported on the poor performance of the BoM earlier in the week.

Dept of Treasury (DoT) and the Dept of Industry, Innovation & Science (DIIS) also have three-quarters of staff in senior positions. DoT is almost 10% higher and DIIS c.5% more vs 2008-2009. We literally have to get down to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to break the 50% threshold between management and non-execs.

While there is a point to be made that some career public servants deserve to be promoted,  surely it is a fair question to ask why there are so many more chiefs than Indians in most of the departments?

Salary APS

Headcount in some departments has fallen but on the whole, the total employee cost has risen. You can see this below.

Cost Employee

Mathematically, the more junior levels would seem to be leaving these government departments as opposed to the old guard stepping down in order for APS Level 6+ percentages to keep rising.

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A point worth mentioning within these figures has been the amalgamation of certain departments such as the Dept of Human Services (DHS),  which includes the merger of Centrelink & Medicare (in 2009). This explains the large jump in staff numbers thereafter. Although the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet trebling over the last decade seems somewhat excessive.

The Dept of Home Affairs (DHA) now includes the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, Multicultural affairs, ASIO, the Australian Federal Police, Australian Border Force, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission and AUSTRAC so the more than doubling in size does not appear inconsistent.

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When analysing average salaries in these departments it is clear that the Dept of Foreign Affairs is the place to get paid. Average salaries are around $210,000, up from $170,000 a decade ago. Although given the low base, the Dept of Human Services has risen the most. Do note DHS has the best ratio of 25% chiefs to 75% Indians.

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Of course, inflation would explain away some of the salary increases over the last decade but it still stands to reason that the growing percentages of senior staff within the public service are continuing to put upward pressure on budgets.

In private enterprise, it would be unheard of to have these types of management to employee ratios. While some may argue that certain departments fulfil roles the private sector might struggle to do as efficiently, given the bulk of these public services have 50%+ management structures suggests there is plenty of streamlining that could be achieved. How is that the BoM has 85% of staff in management yet less than 3% performing the role of research scientists? Despite all that management experience at BoM how is it so many errors and mistakes are made? It literally doesn’t add up.

Post election exodus to NZ? The stats

There is much humour to learn that post last Saturday’s election, 512 Aussies have apparently made applications to register for a New Zealand visa. 25x the number of May 12. Given Aussies do not require visas to work or live there, so one might question these people need to study our neighbor more closely. Perhaps speak to Jane Caro who wishes she was a New Zealander.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics there are 568,000 New Zealanders in Australia, or more than double the total 3-decades ago. Therefore more than 11% of the Kiwi population lives in Australia. At last census count 35,000 New Zealanders migrated to Australia in 2018.

According to the New Zealand Statistics Bureau, 38,700 Aussies live in New Zealand. In the January 2018 year, 24,900 migrants arrived from Australia and a similar number departed for Australia.

Stats NZ stated, “Over half of migrants arriving from Australia are actually returning Kiwis who have been living across the Tasman for more than a year…The number of migrants going back and forth to Australia in the past year almost balanced each other out – the net gain was just 40 people in the last 12 months.

Statistically, Australia has 5x NZ’s population but we have 14.7x the number of Kiwis living on our shores. Presumably because it offers more opportunity. So to the Morrison haters, NZ awaits you. CM is betting you’ll be like all those Hollywood celebrities that promised to leave the US after the 2016 election. They’re all still there.

Same Sex Marriage – Shaming didn’t work before. Why now?

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Ahhh. Where have we seen this before? 2016 US election? Brexit? Yes. It’s the name and shame game. Make people feel that failure to vote “yes” in the same sex marriage (SSM) plebiscite makes Australia as backward as predominantly Muslim countries (which ironically are the same countries the liberal left will scream unwavering support if any criticism is thrown at them, despite their stance against homosexuality), a few former communist states and Thailand. The irony of SSM is the campaigning and advertising is probably the worst spent money ever. How?

If I asked all the Aussie people who adorned their page with “I’m voting yes” I’m guessing 99% had already made up their mind and nothing would change it. So any “No” campaigns should have slid like water off a duck’s back. The same goes for those in the no camp. 99% have probably made their mind up and no amount of “Yes” campaigning will change that. Posting memes which aim to shame people has the opposite effect by further cementing their “No”  vote.

I’m not confident this plebiscite will pass. No amount of tears from Senator Pratt, $1m from Alan Joyce, rainbow banners forcibly added on my blog draft page or friends telling people they have a moral obligation to vote Yes will have any effect. Why the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is charged with handling the plebiscite and not the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) is beyond me .

Going a step further, we see that the ABS has sent multiple ballots to some addresses because of  outdated information of former tenants, rogue postmen have threatened to use torches to  throw out “No” votes they find and a government that introduced emergency laws to ban free speech on SSM. Personally I think the plebiscite fails but the more concerning thing about the SSM debate has been the attack on free speech. How?

Anyone that would seek to tamper with an official vote (mail tampering is an offence), vote multiple times or seek to get people who are in the “No” camp deregistered from the medical profession or think government leaders using tax payers to support the “Yes” cause only to influence an outcome indeed would place Australia in the right column which contain countries that in many cases don’t believe in democracy. Having emergency laws on free speech to curtail it in a way that would only punish the “no” side tells us all we need to know. A gay journalist can happily tweet he’d “hate f*ck the homophobia out of conservative politicians” and that is passed as a racy joke but if conservatives said they’d “hate f*ck the homosexuality out of a gay progressive politician” they’d be hounded into the courts.

Indeed Australia is rightly positioned in the above column. Just the heading of the study should be “rights to free speech” not “equal marriage rights”