Defence spending claims misleading

Much has been made about Labor’s expenditure on defence in 2012-13, as a percentage of GDP, as being the lowest since 1938. To use defence spending as a percentage of GDP to gauge the level of a government’s security, is a misleading variable. When the wealth of a country grows, expenditure on defence may actually increase in real terms, while as a percentage of GDP, it may fall.

If we use this singular component of measurement then John Howard’s defence spending of 1.62% of GDP in 2002-3, was at that point, the lowest since 1938. When Howard left in 2007, defence spending was at 1.78% of GDP. During the GFC when the economy slowed down, Labor’s defence spending under Kevin Rudd, as a percentage of GDP, rose to 1.93%. As the country began to climb out of the worst effects of the GFC, expenditure as a percentage of GDP fell by 2012-13 to 1.6% of GDP under Julia Gillard.

To put that in context, Australia’s expenditure on a per capita basis remained superior to any of our neighbours in the region and compared favourably with that of Canada, Italy and Germany. Also bear in mind that was in the relatively benign world of Hu Jintao, a far cry from today’s entrenched dictatorship of Xi Jinping.

More Queensland bashing from Murdoch

A recent Courier Mail headline, “No school, it’s cloudy”, drips with sarcasm. Terminology evoking ‘chaos’, ‘confusion’ and ‘havoc’ proliferates. Later we read “the decision to close schools was based on advice from police and state disaster coordination.” No prizes though, for guessing who was in the firing line.
When we were hit with more than 700 millimetres of rain in 72 hours, the Queensland premier-bashing game was once again in evidence. This time Annastacia Palaszczuk hadn’t predicted the “rain bomb”. Nor, for that matter, had the Bureau of Meteorology.

I can’t help but smell a rat. It reeks of a desperate, orchestrated attempt to save the furniture in Queensland for Scott Morrison at the upcoming federal election by diverting attention from his last 3 years of miscalculations on the fires, the pandemic and aged care. So why not just turn the blow torch on Labor in Queensland?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s