By ERWIN CHLANDA
Feeling like a whinge? Please don’t. When it comes to public money, no-one in the nation is pampered as much as we Territorians.
The two governments combined (Federal and Territory) are spending $38,996 on each of us. That’s streets ahead of the national average of $23,051.
The other states are hovering around that figure, between $22,212 for Victoria and $25,738 for Tasmania.
The average state expenditure is $9,694 per man woman and child. Are you sitting down?
The corresponding NT Government figure is $24,135 – or two and a half times as much.
That’s if you look at the population irrespective of race. Now let’s look at it from an Indigenous perspective.
The two governments combined are spending $68,186 on each Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander in the NT – close to double the figure ignoring race (see above).
It’s some 50% more than the corresponding national figure of $44,886.
And the NT Government’s figure, $41,899, is massively ahead of the national average for the states of $25,189, with only the ACT coming close to us at $34,811.
These numbers are for 2015/16 and were released by the Productivity Commission last night.
The take from the report by NT Treasurer Nicole Manison (pictured) was that Federal Indigenous expenditure in the Territory is declining, $28,144 to $26,287 per capita, she says.
Ms Manison says: “In stark contrast the report also shows that the Territory Government’s direct indigenous expenditure per capita remains the highest of all jurisdictions, and has increased since the last report from $37,786 to $41,899 per capita.
“This worrying trend from the Commonwealth to reduce Indigenous funding is especially concerning, given Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison is on a crusade to cut GST funding to the Territory,” she says.
“If further significant cuts are made to the Territory’s GST, and at the same time direct Indigenous spending from the Federal Government is cut, national efforts to close the gap will be put in jeopardy.”
By ERWIN CHLANDA