More porky pies from perfidious Pyne

Education Minister Christopher Pyne today conceded his higher education package will not pass the Senate.

This was the one note of reality in a speech that otherwise took the Abbott Government’s disregard for the truth to a new level by claiming the Coalition has kept its election promises on university funding. 

At the National Press Club today, Mr Pyne said:

“I’m not raising fees – I’m freeing the university sector to place value on the courses they offer students. The universities will make their own decisions about how they increase or decrease their fees, so we have kept, entirely kept the promises that we made both before the election and since the election before the budget.” 

CHRISTOPHER PYNE – NATIONAL PRESS CLUB – 6 AUGUST 2014 

No, Minister, what you are doing is breaking your promise by slashing funding and forcing universities to raise fees.

Once again, the Minister seems to need reminding that the Coalition promised: 

“No cuts to education.”

TONY ABBOTT – NATIONAL PRESS CLUB – 2 SEPTEMBER 2013 

“We will ensure the continuation of the current arrangements of university funding."

REAL SOLUTIONS, LIBERAL PARTY POLICY DOCUMENT – CHAPTER 17, PAGE 40-41 – 27 JANUARY 2013

Rather than playing word games, Mr Pyne should be honest with the Australian public. In fact, he should have been honest from day one.

He should have come clean on what was in store for universities and students before the election, rather than claiming he had “hinted” at the changes and blaming journalists for missing the hints:

“I gave quite a few speeches hinting about the Government's plans in the budget, about the direction in which we were heading. If anybody reads my Universities Australia speech, which was very long … it comprehensively outlined almost exactly what we did in the budget. Now, the fact that some members of the Fourth Estate missed that is not my responsibility.”

CHRISTOPHER PYNE – NATIONAL PRESS CLUB – 6 AUGUST 2014

It is bizarre that Mr Pyne believes the public should have paid more heed to his subtle hints than to his actual promises.

As for policy substance, anyone who thought the Minister would have something new to say on his dud higher education package would have been sorely disappointed.

Mr Pyne’s speech simply reiterated the tired and misleading arguments that have failed to convince the Australian people to support his ideological and short-sighted changes.

Labor will continue to draw attention to the Abbott Government’s broken promises and to fight its unfair and short-sighted budget measures.

The Abbott Government should not be let off the hook for its neglecting its responsibility to fund Australia’s universities properly and to undertake considered policy development processes for any changes.

WEDNESDAY, 6 AUGUST 2014


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