Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas today described as unbelievable Rann Government decisions to spend $566,000 on consultancies led by a man continually attacked by Kevin Foley as practicing ‘voodoo economics’.
“Last year Kevin Foley launched a series of attacks on local consultant and researcher John Spoehr and on the quality of the work and analysis undertaken by him,” Mr Lucas said today.
“I don’t know where John Spoehr got that number from to be quite frank … lots of numbers John Spoehr comes out with that I wonder where he gets them from … “ Kevin Foley, 891 ABC Adelaide, 27 April 2004
“… that is, that you will spend more, tax less and balance the budget – it is voodoo economics. It is up there with John Spoehr’s economic analysis of the world. It is, as I say, voodoo economics.” Kevin Foley, Hansard, 2 June 2004
“However, the Liberal Party has now received a series of documents released under Freedom of Information which reveal that Mike Rann and a number of Rann Government Ministers have agreed to pay $566,000 in salaries and staff to three separate consultancies being led by Mr Spoehr,” Mr Lucas said.
“These documents also reveal that Mr Spoehr was the key person in working with the Rann Government’s officers to get State funding.”
Those consultancies are on:
• A spatially sensitive approach to understanding the impact of public expenditure on social inclusion – State funding provided through Social Inclusion Unit (within the Department of Premier and Cabinet) and Office of the North
• Towards an understanding of the relationship between creative capital and regional economic and employment development – State funding through Department of Premier and Cabinet
• Demographic change, ageing and the workforce: an integrated model to inform workforce development and planning in Australia – State funding through Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology (DFEEST) and Office for the Commissioner of Public Employment (within the Department of Premier and Cabinet)
Today in Estimates Committee, Mr Foley was asked a series of questions about government waste and he continued to attack Mr Spoehr:
“I do not have high regard for Mr Spoehr’s economic analysis – never have, never will.” Kevin Foley, Estimates Committee B, 15 June 2005
“Given this trenchant criticism of Mr Spoehr, Kevin Foley and Mike Rann must explain urgently why they are spending large amounts of taxpayers’ money on projects being led by Mr Spoehr and his team,” Mr Lucas said.