$5 billion? Try $5 million

After five years of promises and a two year review, the Gillard Government has only allocated $5 million over two years for further research into their school funding changes, said Christopher Pyne, Shadow Minister for Education today.

“The Gonski Review called for a $5 billion increase in funding based on 2009 figures and the funding for the existing model dries up at the end of next year,” Mr Pyne said.

“There is no hint in the forward estimates that the additional billions required from the Commonwealth are coming – that alone would turn Wayne Swan’s cooked book surplus into a deficit,” he said.

While the Government is paying $22 million a day on interest repayments to fund their $8 billion a year interest bill on $145 billion of Government debt, their promises to change the school funding system have been left out in an attempt to fiddle the figures.

“Instead, the big so-called education policy in this Budget is a cash hand-out. The policy billed as a ‘school kid bonus’ is in reality a sugar-hit to offset increasing carbon tax costs,” Mr Pyne said.

“The non-government sector has estimated the Gillard Government’s school funding changes plus indexation will cost $113 billion in additional funding over 12 years,” he said.

“Non-government schools know if there is no money, there is no new model and changes without extra funding will adversely impact upon school fees.

“Under those circumstances Labor’s Private School Hit List would be back with higher school fees forcing up the cost of living for parents and slashing school funding.

“Only the Coalition is offering funding certainty for schools beyond 2013, with the current funding levels, plus indexation guaranteed,” Mr Pyne said. 

May 9, 2012

Written and authorised by Hon Christopher Pyne MP, 429 Magill Road, St Morris SA 5068

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