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Budget 2015: Three different price tags in twenty-four hours

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THE HON CHRISTOPHER PYNE MP Minister for Education and Training Leader of the House


16 May 2015

Three different price tags in twenty-four hours

Just twenty-four hours after the Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten gave his reply to the Budget, Labor have now released three different figures supposedly paying for the cost of writing off 100,000 degrees.

1. On the night of the Budget Reply speech Mr Shorten said this policy would benefit 100,000 students and it was claimed it would cost $353 million. 2. Yesterday Labor's policy document said it would benefit 20,000 students and cost $45 million over the forward estimates. Mr Shorten repeated this claim

himself saying yesterday: “Listen again we stand by what we’ve said. Across the forward estimates it’s $45 million.” 3. Today it is reported this policy will cost $1.4 billion over ten years, but this third different price tag in a day is wrong - the Department of Education and Training estimates the cost to taxpayers will be more than $2.25 billion - on a conservative assessment of the policy.

This has become a complete policy shambles, and Labor is now refusing to release their costings.

And it is no clearer how Mr Shorten intends to pick from the 184,000 students studying science, technology, engineering or math subjects as to who will be the winners and losers.

With three unexplained costings in 24 hours, it is clear Mr Shorten just can't add up. You just can't trust his costings. Not now. Not ever.

Mr Pyne’s Media: 0439 764 809, Department Media: