A STUDY Labor says “blows to pieces” Malcolm Turnbull’s economic plan argues education funding beats company tax cuts for boosting growth.
Living standards were higher when education funding was higher, according to a comparison of countries in the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development.
“The data presented here clearly suggest that if there were a choice between funding company tax cuts or more education spending governments would be well-advised to concentrate on the latter,” said author of the analysis, David Richardson senior research fellow at theAustralia Institute.
The study deals with the central policy contest of the election campaign.The Coalition has presented voters with a plan for extensive corporate tax cuts growing to around $48 billion over 10 years.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said this will encourage further investment and higher employment.
Labor wants to put more money into education, including schools and apprenticeships.
The Australia Institute found there was “no relationship between company tax rates and living standards”, and that nothing supports the idea “that company tax cuts increase the living standards of the population generally”.
It found “a strong relationship between living standards and the education attainment of the labour force”.
But Labor leader Bill Shorten welcomed the report: “This blows Malcolm Turnbull’s so-called economic plan to pieces. The difference in economic visions couldn’t be sharper or starker.”
Mr Shorten said it showed “growth will come from high-skill industries, with high-wage jobs”.
“Giving $50 billion to big business while cutting billions of dollars from education is a stupid decision,” he said.
“Wages are flatlining and living standards are falling, and Mr Turnbull’s only solution is to give more taxpayer money to big business and the banks.
“When we invest in education, we’re investing in better jobs, higher wages and improved living standards.”