Originally published in The Canberra Times on July 6, 2013

When it comes to future generations it seems that we can never be too generous. But is this generosity coming at the expense of current generations? In Canberra, when it comes to job losses, it seems the answer is ”yes”.

Consider the Australian National University’s approach to its finances. The ANU is owned by taxpayers and primarily funded by taxpayers, but it is determined to stockpile taxpayers’ funds in order to provide a better quality of education to future students than it does today.
This week, the vice-chancellor of the ANU announced that hundreds of jobs will be shed as a result of the federal government’s cuts to university funding of about $50 million. But their annual report shows that in 2012 the university made a surplus of about $60 million.

Why wouldn’t the government cut its funding if it plans only to stockpile it?

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