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Gillard: more blow-outs in Computers in Schools program to come.



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MEDIA RELEASE

Gillard: More blow-outs in Computers in Schools program to come

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Education refused to rule out any further cost blow-outs in the Computers in Schools program, Christopher Pyne, Shadow Minister for Education said today.

“I asked Ms Gillard pointedly in the Federal Parliament whether she could confirm that there would be no further federal government monies required to prop up this bungled program which has already required an $807 million bail-out,” Mr Pyne said.

“States and territories were in revolt after being lumbered with the staggering on-going costs of Kevin Rudd’s promise of a computer for every student from year 9-12,” he said.

“Even with last week’s funding blow-out, this program fails to deliver on this promise. The Government is now paying $2500 per computer to deliver on their election promise, even though their own report admits that the average cost to states is $4668 per computer.

“Today she had the opportunity to draw a line in the sand and say that this election promise will not drive the Budget any further into deficit. Instead she avoided the questions.

“Ms Gillard had an opportunity to show that the Labor Party has some shred of economic credibility as managers of the Government’s finances, but let’s not forget Ms Gillard was the author along with Mark Latham of Medicare Gold, a policy that would have plunged Australia into deficit years ago.

“Now it seems Computers in Schools is heading the same way as Medicare Gold would have. Ms Gillard needs to be upfront with taxpayers and tell Australians how much Computers in Schools will really cost by the time it has delivered a computer for every student.

“Ms Gillard has taken her eye off the ball. She has too much on her plate. ” Mr Pyne said.

1 December 2008

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