Wednesday, 5 December 2018
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister for Education. Will the minister update the House on how a strong economy enables the government to deliver record school funding for Australian students, parents and teachers? How would a weaker economy, through higher taxes, put this action at risk?
I thank the member for Leichhardt for his question. He understands how important it is that we invest in schools. I'm pleased to inform him and the House that the government is providing record levels of funding for Australian schools. Commonwealth funding for state schools was $6.8 billion last year. It will be $7.3 billion this year, it will be $7.9 billion next year and it will be $8.6 billion the year after—going up and up and up. Commonwealth funding for Catholic schools was $6.3 billion last year. It will be $6.6 billion this year, it will be $6.9 billion next year and it will be $7.3 billion the year after that—going up and up and up. Commonwealth funding for independent schools was $4.4 billion last year. It will be $4.7 billion this year, it will be $5.1 billion next year and it will be $5.5 billion the year after—going up and up and up. From 2017 to 2027, Commonwealth funding to state schools will grow by 86 per cent.
This is very important, and I'm sure the House will be very interested in this: according to the Productivity Commission, since 2006, on a per student basis, Commonwealth funding to state schools has increased by 78.5 per cent. This is compared to a 7.7 per cent increase in the contribution from state and territory governments. We are doing our bit when it comes to funding state schools. All up, the government is providing nearly $310 billion between 2018 and 2029 to all schools.
How are we able to do this? We're able to do this because we have created a strong economy, with 1.1 million jobs created since we came to office. There are two important things that that does. It increases tax receipts so we can make sure we can pay for it. The second part is that it means our welfare payments are less. As a matter of fact, our welfare payments are at their lowest levels in the last 30 years. That is what we've been able to achieve.
What would put this at risk? Those opposite. What they want to do is hit the Australian economy with $200 billion worth of taxes. What would that do to the Australian economy? That would stifle the Australian economy, that would suffocate the Australian economy, that would lessen economic growth, and it would mean you couldn't pay for record investment like this. (Time expired)