FEDERAL Perth MP Patrick Gorman reckons the Morrison government budget has pinched the best bits of Labor plans.
But he warns that Perth schools will still miss out.
The Labor MP says Perth electorate residents can “be happy they’ve copied a range of Labor’s policies—they’ve copied Labor’s tax cuts for low to middle income earners,” along with some infrastructure spending.
But he says “if you want an effective Tafe system, properly funded schools, a long term plan for preschools, you’ll be pretty miserable” about the budget.
On budget night treasurer Josh Frydenberg said “while money is important, so too is the quality of education afforded to all Australians… we are committing around $300 billion to all schools, a total increase of 63 per cent”.
Mr Gorman says it falls short of Labor’s pledge, which would see an extra $21million going to schools in the Perth electorate.
Mr Frydenberg also announced “$453million to once again extend pre-school education, enabling 350,000 children to receive 15 hours of quality early learning per week in the year before school”.
But Mr Gorman says that under the Libs that cash will soon run out: “It’s only funding for one more year. So if you’ve got a one-year-old, a two-year-old, or a zero-year-old, there’s no guarantee they’ll have access to universal preschool.”
Labor is also promising free or subsidised preschool for three year olds if elected; to be funded by new policies limiting negative gearing.
Mr Gorman concludes the budget is “a pretty political document—we are six weeks from an election. This is part of the Liberal party’s election pitch but it misses pretty big if you care about education”.
by DAVID BELL