Australia's structural budget deficit is due to discretionary spending rather than our defence capabilities where investment is essential but has already been cut savagely in recent years.
Letter to The Age
Tuesday, 29 October 2013
(published Thursday, 31 October 2013
Peter Allan’s puzzlement (Letters, 29/10) is easily resolved by resort to the facts.
Defence investment should be exempted from the Commission of Audit, Peter Allan (Letters, 29/10), because it is the only major area of government that has already been subjected to drastic cuts — and for several years
Chiefly because the future Australians risked by this don’t get to vote now to rectify it and short-term political expediency thus wins out.
Defence is also the only major area of government that is wholly funded federally — meaning such cuts bite even harder.
Finally, Australia is a continent, as well as a country, in a volatile region.
Over the long term we face quite different strategic circumstances and needs to Peter’s Mr Allan’s mistaken comparisons.
Defence capabilities are essential national infrastructure. Under-investing in them remains a false economy, not somehow a cheap fix for structural budget deficits grounded in excess discretionary spending.
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