Tuesday, 12 May 2015

The Sound of One Hand Clapping

In an astonishing feat of fiscal dexterity in the midst of a budget emergency, former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has found $450 million to battle "local jihadis". According to Fairfax reports, the new money brings the grand total committed to "deradicalisation" programmes to well over $1 billion.

Meanwhile, many federally-funded mental health services, such as Lifeline and Reachout, faced an uncertain future as their Commonwealth funding came within a whisker of expiring last month. It's a sad reflection on this government that it took until the last minute for the health minister to announce $300 million of funding. Even now it's not clear exactly where this money is going.

Nobody doubts spending cuts have to be made. But to find even more money for national security (after 15 years of obscene funding increases), when services that affect hundreds of thousands of people on a daily basis have to beg for their continued funding, it is unforgivable. 

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