Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Labor prevaricates

The underwhelming opposition leader and Shadow Treasurer (Bill Shorten and Chris Bowen) have responded to the 'election?' budget without committing to Gonski funding. Bowen's responded that that Labor was likely to pledge to increase health and education funding above the Coalition’s proposed levels, but the specifics would depend on talks with the states and territories “about their needs, going forward”.

“Health and education will be better off under a Labor government – no question about that,” he said.

“We will have a credible funding plan for health and education, but it would be irresponsible of me before going through and continuing that consultation program to go further than saying health and education will be better off under us.”

At the 2013 election, Labor committed to the full six years of funding to phase in the Gonski school reforms, the majority of which would be delivered in the final two years. The Coalition committed only to the first four years.

Bowen said Gonski “runs through our DNA” because the needs-based system would improve opportunity for children regardless of their background “so you can expect our commitment to the Gonski ethos to run very heavily through our policy development and our policy announcements”.

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