In attempt to defend one of Julia Gillard’s less intelligent decisions, Opposition spokesman on education, Tania Plibersek has tried to defend the indefensible.
There is no compelling case to cut funding to “over-funded” private schools and redistribute the money to disadvantaged schools, Labor education spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek says.
In an interview with Fairfax Media, Ms Plibersek it was “absolutely the right decision” for the Gillard government to promise that no school would be worse off under the Gonski funding reforms – a commitment that a Gonski review panelist, Ken Boston, says blew out the cost of the reforms and entrenched inequalities between schools.
The Education Minister, Simon Birmingham, has said he has “deliberately” not made the same promise, leaving room to cut funding for some schools in a new funding deal from 2018.
If you had to think of ways to alienate your voter base, you would be hard pressed to come up with a better one than has. Well, maybe slashing pensions and welfare or increasing negative gearing concessions may come close.
Anyone who has cast a critical eye over the government funding of the richest and elite schools will see that they are funded at the disproportionate and exceptionally generous rate above the state schools. They don’t need the money. All of them have vast assets and considerable cash reserves, unlike most state schools.
It is a case of very clear social inequality and it is something that the Labor party should not be supporting.
Now, clearly the hard-heads in the Labor Party have worked out that a 2% lead in the polls is probably not going to be sufficient to win them the next Federal election and one of the clear ways to make an improvement is to get rid of terminally unpopular Bill Shorten.
Plibersek would have to be on the short list, along with Albanese and Dreyfus but saying things like this will not enhance her chances.