Friday, February 17, 2012
Incompetent Labor puts another $400 million down the gurgler!
It is obvious that Labor should not be allowed to run a chook raffle following revelations that that they are spending $700 to provide set-top boxes to pensioners with non-digital television sets when a comparable unit is available for $19 at a supermarket. Alternatively a new digital television can be purchased at the same supermarket for under $200. The program will cost nearly $400 million dollars to add these boxes to ancient television sets which will probably be landfill very shortly.
Figures tendered to a Senate hearing in October uphold a report in The Australian on Wednesday that set-top boxes delivered under Labor's Household Assistance Scheme, part of its digital TV rollout, could be costing taxpayers an average of $698 each.
Earlier estimates that Senator Conroy yesterday called "dodgy" were, he had written previously, "fact". He told ABC radio yesterday morning the average figure of $698 per installation was "absolutely dishonest" and said the true cost of the program to date had ranged from $158 to $1528.
In October, Nerida O'Loughlin, deputy secretary of the government's Broadband and Digital Switchover Group in Senator Conroy's department, told a Senate estimates committee hearing the cost of the HAS was $308 million from the 2011 budget allocation plus $69.5m from the 2009 allocation.