With the blow-out in the budget expected to hit nearly $1 trillion by 2023-24 as a result of the pandemic, one would think the Federal Government would crack down on wasteful spending. But when it comes to defence spending, too much is never enough.
Budget papers show defence funding will grow by a staggering 9.1% in real terms to $42.7 billion this current financial year. But much of the extra money will be wasted – yet again.
There’s the official cost to build nine Hunter class frigates, which has gone from $30 billion in 2016 to $45.6 billion in 2020.
Then there’s the army’s new Infantry Fighting Vehicles, estimated to cost a “mind-boggling” $18–27 billion. The mid-point estimate for the cost of each vehicle is $50 million.
Then there’s the sustainment (running) costs for the Super Hornet and the Growler jets – a scandalous $100,000 per hour. This compares to $15,000 an hour for the older Hornets which still perform well.
But taking the cake is the planned build of 12 ludicrously expensive Attack class submarines – a program that is a financial and capability disaster. The cost has already gone from $50 billion in 2016 to $90 billion. (end of excerpt)
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