The rift in Malcolm Turnbull's Cabinet over school funding has been reinforced in Question Time today, with Scott Morrison refusing to support the Education Minister, Simon Birmingham's claims the Budget figures for education expenditure beyond 2018 are "indicative only".
In media reports today Simon Birmingham said:
"The Government has been clear that the current estimates for funding from 2018 are indicative only."
SIMON BIRMINGHAM - SYDNEY MORNING HERALD - 3 FEBRUARY 2016
Yet only yesterday, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said the Budget papers remained Government policy, and Simon Birmingham would have to find other savings for anything to change:
"As with anything, if any Minister wants to suggest changes that have a negative impact on the Budget bottom line, they would have to find other areas in their portfolio to pay for it through offsetting savings in other areas of their portfolio."
MATHIAS CORMANN - SKY NEWS - 2 FEBRUARY 2016
This is a two-faced Government playing chameleon with the Australian people.
On one hand you have the Finance Minister claiming the school cuts in calculations of the Government's bottom line, and on the other hand you have an Education Minister stringing the public along by trying to raise hopes the Government will drop its school cuts.
The only thing that is clear is the Government has no clue, and no vision for the future of our classrooms.
This Government has delivered Australia's education system nothing but uncertainty and broken promises which will rip $30 billion out of our schools - an average of $3.2 million per school - the same as sacking one in seven teachers.
The contrast between the Liberals' funding chaos and Labor's positive plan for schools couldn't be clearer. Labor will invest in the education system that our children, and our country, needs for the future. Mr Turnbull and the Liberals will cut it.
Labor's Your Child. Our Future. policy is fully funded and has been costed by the independent Parliamentary Budget Office.
Labor has so far announced more than $70 billion worth of improvements to the Budget bottom-line, including:
- Making multinationals pay their fair share of tax in Australia;
- Reducing high income superannuation tax concessions;
- Increasing the excise on tobacco;
- Scrapping Tony Abbott's Emissions Reduction Fund;
- Scrapping Malcolm Turnbull's new Baby Bonus; and
- Not wasting $160 million on a marriage equality plebiscite.
Malcolm Turnbull's only plan is to attack the household budget with a 15 per cent GST on everything.
THE HON TONY BURKE MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FINANCE
MANAGER OF OPPOSITION BUSINESS
MEMBER FOR WATSON
THE HON KATE ELLIS MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION
FEDERAL MEMBER FOR ADELAIDE