Jun 22, 2008

The Whatever Winston Wants He Can Have Mentality

We have just finished reading the Treasury note to Michael Cullen on Winston's budget bids Very interesting reading. We are not sure that Treasury have done their job on the MFAT funding increase but the advice on Vote Racing seems spot on. They opposed Winston's bid but he got the money anyway.

On Winston's racing bid Treasury say the following:

The department seeks funding of $5.135 million in each of 2008/09,
2009/10 and 2010/11 to establish and administer a contestable fund
that would match additional funds raised by racing clubs to promote
horse racing carnivals and bolster stake money in feature races.
Treasury does not support funding for this initiative, as it is lowpriority
and represents questionable value for money. In particular,
there is insufficient supporting information around why and to what
extent racing clubs are unable to generate sufficient revenue through
traditional sources, or the extent to which feature race stakes need to
be bolstered to increase the racing industry’s profile and encourage
greater investment. There would also be potential precedent
implications across other industries from creating such a fund.

In days gone by Treasury's assessment that a bid "was low priority and represents questionable value of money" would mean that a bid would not be funded. Not in 2008 it seems. And the Government keeps saying with a straight face that there is no waste in Government expenditure......