Right-wing think tank, the Institute of Public Affairs, has announced it will cease operating within the next few weeks.
IPA spokesperson Jen Gisscarn (main picture) said a meeting of the organisation’s directors following this week’s federal budget had decided to close the organisation and dispose of its assets.
“Although nobody has spoken publicly about it until now, the senior leadership of the IPA has been questioning its very existence for some time,” Ms Gisscarn said.
“The 2021-2022 federal budget just crystallised the thinking of directors who now see no alternative except to close down the IPA for good.
“Ever since it started in 1943 the IPA has promoted free-market philosophies and advocated a dominant role for the private sector in our nation’s affairs.
“We have been in the vanguard of campaigns for the privatisation of public assets and services, and deregulation of the labour market to cut onerous red tape that forces employers to do silly and unnecessary things like paying wages or offering job security.
“We have always promoted the idea that the private sector has all the answers to the nation’s problems and a market-driven approach can do a far better job than governments in delivering the services Australians need.
“This approach has always been taken against the background of our fiscal conservatism, especially the need for low or even no taxes, low or no government spending, and certainly low or no public debt, plus the need for always keeping budgets in balance or in surplus and never in deficit.
“But sadly, the 2021-2022 federal budget has blown all our dreams out of the water.
“What hope do we have when the right-wing political parties in our nation have no qualms about shutting down the economy and blowing out debt and deficits just because a couple of thousand people – a million at worst – might die from a pandemic?
“In addition, the massive problems that have been evident in areas such as aged care, child care, schools, hospitals and health care, and disability care that continue to require massive injections of taxpayer funds and rigorous government regulation and oversight have all shown how the private sector has actually failed to deliver on its promises.
“So our directors have basically decided it would be just embarrassing if we continue peddling our inane messages about the superiority of the private sector when all the evidence shows that without massive government involvement, the whole country would be fucked,” Ms Gisscarn said.
She said the IPA would soon vacate its building in Collins Street in the Melbourne CBD.
“In line with our private sector and market-driven principles, before the formally IPA winds up we’ll have a garage sale to offload a lot of office fittings and fixtures and other junk we’ve accumulated over the years, including Georgina Downer’s surplus corflute signs for her Mayo campaign and Senator James Paterson’s old Bullworker.”