According to general commentary, the reason that a Royal Commission has been called into the banks because of alleged bad behaviour and bad consumer outcomes. On this basis, can we have a Royal Commission into Government. Here are some data points:
- Poor customer outcomes – Can we start with the NBN. Does anything else need to be said. But what about dealing with government agencies. Anyone had to recently call Centrelink, the ATO, Medicare? Oh and pink bats deaths also perhaps.
- Misleading and deceptive conduct – the ABC is required under law to deliver balanced content, and well …
- Price fixing – As a fully paid up member of the OECD, government officials (usually Treasury) like to take their tax free sabbaticals to Paris to collude with other tax free officials to lecture on Tax Base Erosion. This is a political euphemism for big governments getting together to fix their prices (tax rates) and to beat up on the smaller countries who dare to undercut them on price. Where is the ACCC?
- Executives being paid too much and out of step with community standards – The most senior executives of the RBA, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Depart of the Treasurer earn around $1m per annum (give or tax $100K). The head of the ABC earns about $1m. But the head of the NBN earns $3.5m. Seems out of step with community standards to me.
- Abuse of shareholder funds – 2 words here; parliamentary entitlements. Whale watching trip anyone? Helicopter joy ride? Family holiday to Uluru?
- Market manipulation and price rigging – the Reserve Bank meets every month, except January of course (northern hemisphere skiing), so that it can discuss how to manipulate the price of Australia money. At the same time, the RBA participates in the market it is manipulating, thus generating regular annual profits. ASIC has not yet launched an inquiry.
Clearly there is enough basis for a Royal Commission to be called into the conduct and performance of government. It is regrettable but necessary.
Come on Mal. Come on Bill. Bring it on.
Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at @Ey_am_Spartacus