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Budget figures were being falsely interpreted by Government critics in an attempt to discredit its efforts to maintain the level of education spending in Australia, the Commonwealth Minister for Education, Senator Garrick,

said today. . . .

He said claims by the General Secretary of the - . ’ Federation of Staff Associations of Collects of Advanced ( Education, Mr Frank McMahon, reported in the Age on Thursday ; '1 were misleading.

( . ) . · . "

, : By claiming that inflation would result in an amount

. : of $51.6 million less than available to Colleges in 1977-78 Mr McMahon had chosen to ignore a Budget figure of $75 million for cost supplementation, Senator Garrick said.

This figure had not been allocated between the four education sectors and the States because it was not possible to do so at this stage of the financial year.

Furthermore, there had been no cut in funds available to Victorian Colleges.

“I stand by what I said in June when I announced the ’/ . guidelines for spending in 1978 and that is that the base , ; . level of spending will be at the same level in real terms as ' i Γ the allocations for 1977.

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. "An honest interpretation of the Budget figures would (^ · ‘ show that there has been no cut in recurrent funds for Victorian Colleges after allowance is made for its "eventual share of the cost supplementation funds", Senator Garrick

said. : ■ ■ ■ ' ' ; ’ ·