The Weatherill Labor Government is wasting millions of dollars on end of financial year spending binges by Ministers and Department Chief Executives, Shadow Finance Minister Rob Lucas said today.
“Evidence provided to the Legislative Council Budget and Finance Committee shows some Departments are spending up to 54 per cent of their total capital works budget in the last month of the financial year,” Mr Lucas said.
“In June 2011 Minister Koutsantonis spent 54 per cent of his total capital works budget, and Minister Rankine spent 45 per cent ($9.5 million) of hers.
“In June 2010 and June 2011 Minister Hill spent between 30 per cent and 36 per cent of his total capital works budget, which is about $90 million each month.”
The following table summarises the evidence provided to the Committee:
Capital works spending by Department (2010-11)
|Percentage spent in June 2011||Amount spent in June 2011||Total spent 2010-11|
Note: Figures for “Total spent 2010-11” for AGD, DPC and Health are estimates
“End of year spending binges such as $5,000 for food processors, $2,000 for baby change tables together with frequent replacement of washing machines and microwaves on the APY Lands are further evidence of a culture of uncontrolled binge spending,” Mr Lucas said.
“It is obvious that in the rush to spend money, Departments are paying inflated prices for goods and services, wasting millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money.
“It is impossible to believe there are valid reasons for Departments to be spending up to 54 per cent of their total yearly budget in just one month.
“Labor Ministers are clearly spending furiously on capital works at the last minute to try and ensure the amount of money provided to their Departments is not reduced in the future.
“This sort of reckless spending is typical of a Labor Government that has plunged South Australia into its worst budget and debt crisis since the State Bank disaster.”