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Brendan Nelson still misleading.

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Media Release Jenny MacklinMP

Deputy Leader of the Opposition Shadow Minister for Employment, Education & Training Federal Member for Jagajaga


The success of Labor’s higher education policy announced five months ago is driving Brendan Nelson to dream up imaginary black holes in a desperate attempt to score a political point.

The decision by the Howard Government to close the Student Financial Supplement Scheme and abandon a tax cut for foreign executives have no bearing on the funding of Labor’s policy.

By adopting Labor’s policy to scrap the tax break for foreign executives, the Government will save $160 million. As stated in our policy, Labor will spend the money saved on higher education.

Labor will retain the Student Financial Supplement Scheme as an important choice for students. The Howard Government’s decision to close off this scheme without proposing anything in its place will mean that the 40,000 students who access this option every year will not have the money they need to study.

The Scheme remains law and Labor will honour the Parliament’s commitment by renewing this option for students.

Hundreds of these students have contacted members of Parliament to tell them that without the scheme next year they will not be able to finish their studies.

Each time Brendan Nelson dreams up a new imaginary black hole, Australians should remember the words of Gavin Moodie who observed that such claims were:

“quickly exposed as simplistic and misleading, if not lacking in intellectual honesty” (Higher Education Supplement, 13 August 2003)

The true bottom line is that Labor will invest in 20,000 extra university places and 20,000 extra TAFE places every year. The Howard Government will not.

Labor’s education policy is fully funded and fully costed.

More info: Caroline Turnour 0408 473 278 12 December 2003