Monday night I was making dinner and watching the local news broadcast as I do from time to time. Anyway, the talking heads on the TV were discussing how certain sports would be getting a bigger slice of the government handout pie than others. All in all I wasn’t too interested in the story, until I heard the amount of money that the government puts into these sports.
$120 Million a year is what the Australian Government spends on sports. $120 Million! As someone who pays an obscene amount of tax, it bothers me immensely when I see that the government chooses to support a recreational activity, rather than investing in something productive for the good of all Australians. It is further enraging due to the amount of people without work due to government funding cuts.
Apparently there isn’t enough money to go around to keep people in work, but we can pump $8.16 million into the Olympic swimming team, even though they only brought home 1 gold, 6 silver and 3 bronze at the 2012 London Olympics. To be fair, I shouldn’t just bash the swim team, the entire thing is a farce (7 gold, 16 silver, 12 bronze) for $120 Million is ridiculous, and certainly not what I would call value for money.
Then to make matters worse, I go and read this article by the Australian Financial Review, where the author says that the government wants to sponsor a TV channel dedicated to sports. Ummm, excuse me madam Prime Minister, but I don’t want my excessive taxes being spent on this abhorrent waste of money. How about we put in a police station near my house, so my street can stop being burgled? Or better yet, how about paying down some of that gigantic debt you have accrued since coming into office.
Obviously there are some services that the government must provide, but I for one don’t think sports is one of them. I wish the government would just focus on its core services and leave the rest up to private industry. That way we can reduce the tax burden in this country and start to focus on actual important issues like education, healthcare and energy security.
I know most of you are not from Australia, but what are your thoughts on government spending on sports?