Everyday, our political system does something that makes me want to leave Australia and move to Canada.
This is controversial. If you don’t like Australian politics, my views about the Liberal party, education and rights etc, please don’t read and don’t comment on this post.
In breaking news today, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull unveiled his newest masterpiece to screw up our society a little more. On top of a clear two-tier tax system that will disguise all the funding cuts to health and education by saying that states who fund for themselves are more responsible with the money, Mr Turnbull has decided that the government will stop supporting public school education, while continuing to provide support for private school education.
The whole proposal is based around states raising income tax rates so they can raise their own revenue, and hence stop withdrawing from the federal government’s ATM like dehydrated zebras at a waterhole.
Mr Turnbull has proposed that the federal government cut back on public school funding, to let states run the show and raise revenue for themselves. How well a state earns revenue, and how much of it is efficiently earned through taxation will therefore determine how much funding public schools get. And in the meanwhile, our private school siblings who pay in excess of $30,000 per year in fees will continue to be supported by the government, because they’re in dire need of more money that the state governments won’t provide due to a supposed public school vs private school competition going on.
This is a complete reversal of what the Gonski reform set out to achieve, by making our schools equal across the nation, regardless of the amount of money paid by its students, or its location.
As a student who graduated from a public school, I’m frankly pissed off that Mr Turnbull has the audacity to even go near one of the most important sectors of our economy.
Mr Turnbull needs to stop treating our economy and our nation like an economics textbook. The question of supply and demand isn’t as simple when there are so many agents in an economy, and when there are so many factors that influence and affect our decision making. And here’s why:
Mr Turnbull is coming out with these half baked tax plans as a solution to the vertical fiscal imbalance in our economy – the government raises revenue, which is eaten up by the states. and all this money goes into bad decisions which creates this cycle of misfortune.
However, the federal government isn’t the only government tier raising revenue. States have budgets, targets and ratings that they have to process every year. States raise revenue for the creation of infrastructure, the betterment of our education systems on all levels and the improvement of our healthcare system. States aren’t blind to the needs of the people. Premiers realise that if there is a way to effectively deliver education, health and infrastructure, then taxation such as payroll tax will be reduced.
So if tax revenue was state determined, and the amount of revenue garnered determined how successful education was in a state, there would be chaos. Because there is nothing more sinful in a voter’s mind, then the thought of taxes rising.
Decisions can’t be determined by treating a nation like an economics principle. If states determined tax rates, I would move to the state with the lowest tax rates. Why? Because I want as much of my hard earned money as I can. But if that meant that services like health and education were suffering, I would end up in this dilemma of “do I want to pay more so my child can have a good public school education?”.
In hindsight, this proposal that Mr Turnbull has come up with is just a way to see which state is the most successful in creating better services but ensuring there is no migration to another state because of the taxation rate.
And coming back to my main point of irritation, cutting funding from public school education is just driving Australia further and further into hell, because children who can’t afford/don’t attend private schools will fall back on no development and support if the state government can’t perform and raise revenue efficiently.
Education isn’t a game Mr Turnbull. Stop treating education like one. My education is important. And it shouldn’t matter whether I go to a public or a private school. All schools, regardless of sector should be equal. Public schools should be supported through funding to provide the same resources and development as their private school counterparts.
If there is a funding issue, find ways to efficiently and effectively raise more revenue without impeding on the rights of our future generations, blaming it on vertical fiscal imbalance and putting tax payer money in areas it doesn’t belong. Find effective and efficient ways to reduce spending in areas that aren’t as relevant to Australian society. Don’t play around with the future of Australian and their education.
I want to move to Canada. I want a young Prime Minister. And I want this trend of having private school educated, Oxford educated old white men as Australian Prime Ministers stopped.
Don’t touch education. It’s the lifeline of our future. Our future leaders, doctors, engineers, decision makers. It’s the single most important factor in our success.