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It is time to call in the exterminators, according to the Senate review into consultancy firms preying on governments in Australia. These bloodsucking accountants and management consultants have managed to extract some $20 billion over the last 10 years. This is a direct result of the neoliberal push to privatise governments and their services. The public service has been gutted by a decade of conservative LNP government providing wealth to their mates via outsourcing to these multinational consultancy firms. Government pests: An infestation of accountants sucking the life and wealth out of Australia.

Money Matters: Navigating Credit, Debt & Financial Freedom

Consultancy Firms Sucking The Lifeblood Out Of The Public Service

We have heard from whistleblowers what the main game is for these hungry bean counters. To insert themselves into the very fabric of government and ingratiate themselves there at our expense. Liberal/National party governments slash spending on the public service and redirect these taxpayer funds to the private sector. They call them the Big Four: PwC, KPMG, Deloitte, and Ey. No one audits the auditors. These strange partnerships are huge in size and scale. They answer to no one.

Their accountants and lawyers are doing the work of government but without the transparency required by the public service.

“The previous Coalition government spent $20.8bn outsourcing more than a third of public service operations, an audit has found. The federal government released the findings of the Australian public service audit of employment on Saturday, which examined the hiring practices and associated costs of 112 public service agencies, excluding the CSIRO, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and parliamentary departments. It found the equivalent of nearly 54,000 full-time staff were employed as consultants or service providers for the federal government during the 2021-2022 financial year – the equivalent of 37% of the 144,300-employee public service.”

  • (Stephanie Convery, The Guardian, 6 May 2023)
Scott Morrison Bragged About Being A Robodebt Welfare Cop

Coalition Government Breeding Private Sector Pests

The Australian public were never asked about this transference of the business of government from public to private hands. We weren’t offered a referendum on this by the Coalition. No it was done behind closed doors to ensure little scrutiny by the media or public. Without fear or favour was supposedly the backbone of the public service. The Coalition circumnavigated this by sending the business of government to their mates in the private sector. The Big Four firms would ensure that reports and reviews were always opaque and under the tight control of the minister. Robodebt anyone? Shifting this much business to the private sector gutted the public service and made the remaining mandarins, like Kathryn Campbell, ‘cruel and cowardly’ in the words of the Royal Commissioner. They were very keen to keep their well paid jobs and would not rock the boat despite the illegality of the scheme.

“A new controversy has broken out over Australian government spending on external consultants as figures appear to show a 12-fold increase in the use of external advisers in the past decade. Figures from the Centre for Public Integrity showed that government spending on the big four consultancies increased by more than $561m over the decade, according to media including the Australian Financial Review.”

Robodebt Abuse Built On Coalition Lies To Australians
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Australians need to wake up to what has been happening to our governments over the last 20 years. It is not just the heinous betrayal of trust by PwC and Peter John Collins it is a much deeper problem. Coalition governments have privatised large swathes of government by outsourcing the business of government to profit driven entities. We have lost the ability to see what is happening within our elected governments. Morrison and his cronies have pulled the wool over our eyes and moved billions of dollars over to mates in the private sector. Wealth in Australia over the last decade has shifted to a few insiders whilst the majority of us are going backwards with wages stagnating and now prices inflating the cost of living.

Australia has become a country for the privileged few and too bloody expensive for the rest of us.

Government pests: An infestation of accountants

Accountants facilitate these tax minimisation schemes for multinational corporations and the wealthy more generally. Those creaming off the wealth of the nation are not paying their fair share of tax. Indeed, many are paying none at all. Consultancy firms like PwC, Ey, KPMG, and Deloitte are at the coal face of these corporate swifties. The closer you get to the money the more crooked the behaviour. Government pests: An infestation of accountants is draining the life out of our democratic society and economy. It is time to turn off the money pipeline and redirect life back into the public service.

The neoliberal experiment has been a failure for the majority of citizens. Let’s make sure its dead.

Robert Sudha Hamilton is the author of Money Matters: Navigating Credit, Debt & Financial Freedom

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