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Nelson misleads on uni funds.



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Media Release

Jenny Macklin MP Deputy Federal Labor Leader Shadow Minister for Employment, Education & Training Federal Member for Jagajaga

NELSON MISLEADS ON UNI FUNDS

The Education Minister is clutching at straws with his deliberately deceptive claims today about Labor’s university policy.

Labor’s Aim Higher package is worth $2.34 billion.

The Howard Government package is worth $1.7 billion.

That means that Labor is investing over $600,000,000 more than the Howard Government in Australia’s universities.

This far exceeds the additional $377,000,000 the Minister’s department estimates will come from the Howard Government’s 25 per cent HECS hikes over the next four years.

The Education Minister’s meaningless obfuscation about individual line items and what they are called will not change the fact that Labor’s package is worth more and that universities will be better off under Labor.

Labor is opposed to real interest rates on student loans. This will cost $15 million. The Minister is trying to pretend that this single line item in Labor’s costings somehow represents a ‘HECS compensation fund’ dreamt up by the Minister.

If the Minister wants to identify a ‘HECS compensation fund’, it’s called Aim Higher and it’s worth $2.34 billion.

Instead of gloating about the fact that the Government is gouging hundreds of millions of extra dollars out of students and their families, the Minister should meet the number one priority for universities and properly index grants.

Unlike Howard’s HECS hikes, Labor’s indexation will keep growing in the future, and provide steadily increasing revenue to universities.

It is the Education Minister who should be embarrassed by this shoddy display of blatant misrepresentation.

More info: Caroline Turnour 0408 473 278 \

26 May 2004