This from the Taxpayers Union…..eye watering to read!!!
We posted this image in May last year. Since then, Grant Robertson has whittled the COVID-19 response fund down to a measly $5 billion. So, what happened to the $50 billion?
First thing first: less than a quarter was paid out in wage subsidies. Instead of simply helping to keep households and businesses afloat, the Government appropriated the fund for political purposes.
Here are some examples of how the money was actually spent:
Flood protection in the Far North: $12,500,000
Cameras on fishing boats: $26,600,000
“Regional digital connectivity”: $50,000,000
Horse racing: $52,500,000
“Public Interest” Journalism: $55,000,000
Affordable housing projects: $100,000,000
“Transformative energy” projects: $155,000,000
Various large-scale construction projects: $180,000,000
Construction of one building at the University of Auckland: $200,000,000
“Climate resilience” projects: $210,000,000
Arts grants: $374,000,000 (e.g. $17 million for art therapy clinics)
School lunches: $515,800,000 (yes, half a billion dollars)
“Jobs for Nature”: $1,219,000,000 (e.g. the infamous wallaby-culling job creation scheme, which cost $200,000 per low-paying job created)
Now, a more virulent outbreak is imposing new costs on businesses, households, and taxpayers. What happens when the money runs out, Grant? Will you borrow another $50 billion? Will you at least call the fund what it is: a political slush fund.