Birmingham hits the panic button with Gonski ads

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23 January 2018

Simon Birmingham has the back to school panics – but they’re not over whether the kids’ have the right shoes or if their textbooks are all covered.

The Education Minister has the back to school panics because his education funding policies are a dud – such a dud that he’s had to put his hand in the taxpayer’s pocket for a television advertising campaign to try to sell them, according to Catholic Education Commission of Victoria Ltd (CECV) Executive Director Stephen Elder.

‘Ever since WorkChoices it’s been a giveaway,’ Mr Elder said. ‘If a government has to resort to television advertising to try to sell a policy, it’s already failed.

‘Senator Birmingham has launched a TV spot this week extolling his Gonski 2.0 package.

‘The Bureau of Statistics revealed last week that already-strained Australian households are spending 3.1 per cent of their weekly expenditure on education, adding “and it’s growing quickly”.

‘Senator Birmingham’s new funding model has cut the amount of funding attracted by some 180 Catholic schools in Victoria and over 600 nationally in 2018. At the same time, the government has undertaken a number of unprecedented actions that have undermined the ability of the Catholic system to reallocate government grants between schools to mitigate losses.

‘The new funding model and the government’s actions mean many Catholic schools have been forced to increase their fees.

‘Now Senator Birmingham is tapping the taxes of families in a bid to save face.

‘He’s using public funds to try to justify a policy that has left the public distinctly underwhelmed.

‘He is simply adding insult to injury.

‘Some sales pitch, Minister.’

Further information: Christian Kerr, Media Adviser, 0402 977 352

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