An investigation of ten years of government spending by data expert Greg Bean shows the value of no-tender, “amended” government contracts exploded to $34 billion in August. That equates roughly to the cost of building 1,700 schools.
The biggest single item of spending appears to have been with US defence contractor Lockheed Martin via arrangements which allowed Lockheed to pay no Australian income tax.
As tensions mounted in the lead up to the latest coup in Canberra, amended contracts jumped from $1.8 billion in April – still above long-term trends – to $13.5 billion in May, thence $17.2 billion and $13.5 billion in June and July.
As the chart shows, there has never been anything like this extravagance on the taxpayers’ dime: almost $80 billion in amended contracts in just three months.
Drilling down into the data, the actual numbers of amended government contracts quadrupled in June, July and August from their long-term averages. The government is on a tear, on a spending spree of greater magnitude than ever before, and most of it is in defence…