Senate debates

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Questions without Notice

Education Funding

2:03 pm

Photo of Mathias CormannMathias Cormann (WA, Liberal Party, Minister for Finance) Share this | Hansard source

I completely disagree with that characterisation, because, in order to characterise what the senator refers to as 'cuts', the money would have had to have been there in the first place, and of course Labor never funded their unaffordable, pie-in-the-sky spending growth trajectory that they promised on the never-never in the period beyond the published forward estimates at the time. At a time when they knew they were about to lose the election, they made an unaffordable promise. They knew they would never have to pay for it. They knew it was not affordable. In fact, the state premiers and the chief ministers knew it was not affordable.

Just to go back to an element of the senator's first question: it is always open to the government to change a policy position, but there is a process to do so. If the government were to change policy position down the track, our fiscal discipline is that we would have to pay for that by finding savings in other parts of the budget.


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