The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance (ATA), a 75,000+ member national grassroots advocacy group representing the nation’s taxpayers, today condemned the NT government’s historical mismanagement, which has resulted in a forecast deficit of over $1.5 billion this year, and called for an expenditure transparency portal to hold future governments accountable to taxpayers.
“The Territory government blames its fiscal woes on cuts to GST payments and the wrap-up of the Inpex gas project. Yet years of reckless spending, including a $150,000 trial on a driverless bus that travelled at 5 km/h, and $3.5 million on a light show, demonstrate that these are merely scapegoats for poor fiscal management which wouldn’t pass the pub test.” Said Satya Marar, ATA Director of Policy.
“Years of poor decisions mean that Territorians and their families now face cuts to public services and an extra tax bill of $1 million a day just to pay off interest on their government’s debts.
“The only way to keep future NT governments responsible is an expenditure transparency portal which allows the public to monitor how our money is spent in real-time without expensive FOI requests. The ATA has lobbied for this important reform for years and it has been trialled successfully in the UK and several US jurisdictions. There is no reason for government, opposition, or minor parties to oppose this idea– if they have nothing to hide, they have nothing to fear.
“We call on the NT government to adopt the expenditure transparency portal to hold future governments accountable, and to safeguard the interests of hardworking taxpayers in the state and across the nation. This is not an issue of left vs right, it is an issue of right vs wrong.”