Government spin doctors have been working overtime recently to assure the Australian people that our tax dollars are being put to good use. However as per usual it’s an extraordinary waste of money.
Using talking points to sell us on their massive spending like “shorter wait times” or “spending less time on hold”, the government is actually pointing out their ineptitude at running services for the public.
4 tranches of the plan to upgrade our online welfare systems are now in place. The fourth and final one being touted by the media on behalf of the Australian government has been in the news headlines of late. Radio news bulletins and online news have been singing the praises of the spending.
However they are only touting figures like “More than 500m” or “$540m” in an attempt to what seems like downplay exactly how much has been spent.
What’s the real cost of this welfare platform digital upgrade? $1,300,000,000! That’s right, 1.3 billion dollars.
The Welfare Payment Infrastructure Transformation (WPIT) plan saw an initial cash injection of over $60m. The second tranche was in 2016 for $313.5m. The third tranche in 2018 for $316.2m and the most recent tranche is what the spin doctors have been selling the public on as a ‘good thing’ which was $540m!
Does $1.3 Billion Dollars sound like a good price for a website overhaul? The MyGov portal of course covers a few systems such as Services Australia, Medicare, Centrelink, etc. But $1.3 Billion is an extremely hefty price tag and could surely be spent more wisely. Actual tangible assets could be created with that money. Rather than something digital and technically intangible.
The new system was earmarked to be in place by 2022. However an ANAO audit showed that was highly unlikely and that 2025 was more realistic.