More than $1 million of taxpayers’ money has been wasted on providing the Gillard Government with public feedback about its unpopular carbon tax, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment Simon Birmingham said today.
Climate Change departmental officials revealed, in a Senate Estimates hearing today, that $1.03 million has so far been paid to the consultancy with Hall & Partners | Open Mind (and formerly the Open Mind Research Group) for taxpayer funded campaign development and feedback.
The hearing was told that the most recent work provided to the Government by Open Mind resulted from 10 focus groups conducted in three different locations following last year’s taxpayer funded $32 million advertising blitz.
The consultancy has also provided week-by-week tracking research on the effectiveness of the Gillard Government’s taxpayer funded campaign, and will presumably be providing feedback on the budgeted further $10 million campaign ahead of the carbon tax’s introduction on 1 July.
“It is the height of arrogance for the Government to spend taxpayer dollars to provide itself with evaluation of its taxpayer-funded campaign to sell taxpayers a new tax they don’t want,” Senator Birmingham said today.
“Julia Gillard nominally leads a cohort of Labor Members and Senators who, if they were in touch with the electorates they’re supposed to represent, could tell how terribly unpopular the carbon tax is, without the need for taxpayer funded market research.
“For Julia Gillard to resort to a multi-million dollar consultancy for this feedback says so much about how out of touch she and other Labor MPs are as well as the lack of regard they have for spending taxpayer dollars wisely.
“If Labor want tracking research and feedback on politically motivated campaigns, they should be paying for it out of their own political party funds rather than expecting taxpayers to cough up hard earned dollars.”