advertising in the form of "information" campaigns has always been an issue.
Both sides of politics do it. You can't blame them. Why spend the money you need for the next election campaign when you can spend the taxpayer's money instead? Except that this time our state government might just have gone too far.
There was a letter addressed to the Senior Cat yesterday. It came from the Premier's office. It was addressed to the Senior Cat personally. I took it in and passed it over.
The Senior Cat read it and then passed it silently over to me. His expression told me something was wrong.
It was, of course, a pro-forma type letter and it was obviously being sent out to many people - probably all those over a certain age. It was designed to lead them to believe that their pension concessions were being cut by the Federal government.
Now the Senior Cat does not get any pension concessions because he was of the generation who were compelled to contribute to a superannuation scheme for teachers. He is not eligible for any of the concessions. That was not what had made him so angry.
What was making him angry was that the letter was deliberately misleading. It has been designed to make pensioners believe that they are going to be much worse off because of "federal budget cuts" - cuts that amount to $19 a year and that will be made up in other ways.
The State government is already being questioned about a similar advertising campaign on television. It was designed to make the same point. The advertisements were obviously the lead up to the letters - letters that look like official government correspondence and which have been paid for by taxpayers.
Now the state and federal governments are on opposite sides of the political fence so it comes as no surprise when this sort of thing happens. If the situation was reversed with respect to political allegiance the same sort of thing would probably also be happening.
No, that is not what made the Senior Cat so angry. It is not what made me angry. What made us angry was the misuse of taxpayers money to mislead, to mislead the most elderly and vulnerable people in the community.
The money used so far would have more than covered the "cuts" from the federal funding - but it won't cover the cuts from the state funding.
And the state government is bankrupt.