Wednesday, 11 February 2015

More lies in higher education

from the ABC Fact checker

As Education Minister Christopher Pyne urges cross-bench senators to support the Government's proposed shake up of higher education, he says change is needed because of the actions of the former Labor government.

At his first media conference of 2015, Mr Pyne said: "The reason we have to do this reform of universities is because Labor cut $6.6 billion from universities over the course of their government".

This is not the first time he has used this figure. In December, announcing a new version of the legislation, Mr Pyne also said the former government had cut $6.6 billion from the sector.

The budget papers and the Parliamentary Library's budget review show an increase in higher education spending over the life of the previous Labor government. Savings measures announced by Labor did not reduce overall funding to the sector.

Of the $6.6 billion in Mr Pyne's table, $2.3 billion relates to measures that have not been implemented and Labor is now opposing those savings in the Senate.

More than half relates to funding for students, not for universities, as Mr Pyne stated.

What's more, the $6.6 billion takes into account forward estimates for the years to 2016-17, which does not fall into "the course of [Labor's] government", as Mr Pyne said.

He is incorrect!

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