Straight from the Senate - Issue 25
5.00pm | June 23, 2017
1. This week I spoke in the Senate on the Bill I have introduced to require the Productivity Commission to regularly report on inequality.
Inequality in Australia is currently at a seventy five year high. We must retool our institutions to address the challenge of our times - the growing disparity in wealth and income. You can read my full speech here. The explanation about the bill can be found here.
This week Labor moved in the Senate to protect Australian workers’ penalty rates.
Unfortunately, the Coalition voted to cut the take home pay of some of Australia’s lowest paid workers. Labor will never support cuts to the wages of Australian workers and will continue to fight to protect penalty rates and the rights and conditions of Australian workers.
In the early hours of this morning the Senate passed the Coalition’s cuts to schools. To get the Crossbench onside the Government increased the funding to their original plan however, the policy remains fundamentally unfair and many schools will still see significant cuts. As Labor Leader, Bill Shorten, and Labor Deputy Leader and Shadow Education Minister, Tanya Plibersek, outlined today, the Government’s plan is not delivering funding where it is needed most.
Today Bill and Tanya visited Holy Trinity Primary School, a school that charges approximately $3,000 per year in fees and IS set to lose $288,000 over the next ten years. At the same time, the Prime Minister today visited Santa Sabina School in Strathfield, a school which charges $22,000 a year and will receive a $19 million increase in funding over the next ten years. While in Strathfield the Prime Minister did not visit Strathfield South High School - set to lose a million dollars over the next two years alone. These examples highlight the unfairness at the heart of the Coalition’s education policy. The Coalition Government is increasing funding to some of the country’s wealthiest schools while cutting funds to those are already underfunded. Students in public schools and low-fee schools will be hit hardest by Malcolm Turnbull’s budget.
Labor will continue to oppose these unfair cuts on our schools.