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Education spending up by 11.2 per cent



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News Release

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Minister fo r

Education b Youth Affairs

M96/84

EDUCATION SPENDING UP BY 11.2 PER CENT

21 August 1984

The 1984 85 Budget showed clearly the Government’s resolve to restore a

reasonable and responsible level of funding to education, the Minister

for Education and Youth Affairs, Senator Susan Ryan, said today.

She said Commonwealth expenditure on all areas of education in the

1984-85 financial year would rise by 11.2 per cent from $4,085.3

million in 1983-84 to $4,543.5 million.

As well as increases in funds available for school and for tertiary

education which she had already announced, significant increases would

be made to the level of schemes of financial assistance to students in

1985.

The Budget allocation for financial assistance for students was

$437.3 million, an increase of $63.5 million or 17 per cent.

The major increases in individual schemes would be a rise of 10 per

cent in the living allowances under the Tertiary Education Assistance

Scheme, a 15 per cent increase in the Secondary Allowances Scheme to

assist the parents of children in the final two years of secondary

school, and a 16.7 per cent increase in benefits under the Adult

Secondary Education Assistance Scheme.

Means tested living allowances for tertiary students would rise to a

maximum of $68.67 a week for independent students and for those living

away from home, and to a maximum of $44.51 a week for students living

at home. Means tests had been eased by 10 per cent.

Senator Ryan said the "incentive gap" between TEAS benefits and the

unemployment benefit payment to 16 and 17-year-olds leaving school had

virtually been eliminated by the increases and she hoped it would

encourage many young people to remain in full-time education and

training.

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The linking of the level of benefits to tertiary students with those

paid to adult secondary level students, which had been broken by the

previous Government, would be restored next year. This would increase

benefits paid under the Adult Secondary Education Assistance Scheme by

16.7 per cent.

In another decision to complement Government initiatives to have young

people obtain a full and rewarding education, the level of benefits

paid to parents of senior secondary school students under the Secondary

Allowances Scheme would rise from $1,046 to $1,202 a year, an increase

of 15 per cent.

The means test on parental incomes would be eased by 10 per cent to

enable parents with combined incomes, after certain deductions, of up

to $14,281 to receive full benefits, and reduced benefits to be paid to

parents with incomes, after deductions, of up to $19,030.

Increases had also been made to the Additional Boarding Allowance under

the Assistance for Isolated Children’s Scheme and the means test had

been eased by 20 per cent.

Easing of means tests generally by 10 per cent would result in

financial assistance being given to 7,000 students who would otherwise

have been denied this opportunity.

The Government would increase liying allowances for Aboriginal students

and, in addition, would provide 100 special awards, mainly to mature

age Aboriginal students, to enable them to study full-time to become

teachers. The special award would amount to $155.85 a week in addition

to allowances under the Aboriginal Study Grants Scheme.

This was the second year the Government had made special teacher-

education awards which were intended to help achieve the Government's

target of having 1,000 Aboriginal teachers in schools by 1990.

The Loan Video program for families in isolated areas will be extended

for three years with an initial allocation of $800,000.

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Youth Affairs

Grants to national youth organisations had been increased by about

18 per cent to $960,000 and other youth-oriented expenditures in

1984-85 including youth studies and international youth exchanges would

result in an expenditure on youth affairs of $1.3 million, Senator Ryan

said.

The Government has increased by $300,000 to $2.3 million funding for

International Youth Year activities in 1985. Of this amount $1.5

million will be made available in 1984-85 and of this $250,000 will be

offered to the States on a dollar-for-dollar basis, and $50,000 to a

number of national organisations for IYY projects.

The National Advisory and Co-ordinating Committee on Multicultural

Education which was established earlier this year would be provided

with $100,000 to enable it to perform its function of providing

high level advice on multi-cultural education at all levels of

education from early childhood services to all forms of tertiary

studies.

Senator Ryan said education was one of the largest items of

Commonwealth expenditure and the Budget estimates would ensure

available funds would meet areas of greatest need as well as providing

for the steady development and the healthy maintenance of educational

structures throughout Australia.

The substantial increase of 11.2 per cent in total outlays proved the

Government's commitment to education as an essential ingredient of

Australia’s continued development as one of the world's advanced and

prosperous nations.