Education cuts good for kids in bizarro Tolley world

Written By: - Date published: 4:30 pm, March 11th, 2010 - 20 comments
Categories: education, national - Tags: , ,

Have a listen to Education Minister Anne Tolley on Morning Report today trying to explain the $25 million cut to the education budget. It really was a shocker, even for her.

Tolley claimed the cuts would increase frontline services, but couldn’t say how. She claimed the cuts would lift achievement, but had no answers on that either.

When asked where the cuts would fall she hadn’t a clue. “I’m just the minister”, she argued. “It’s not my job.”

Where did the $25 million figure come from? The Ministry, if Tolley’s to be believed, out of the sheer goodness of their hearts.

And what about Trevor Mallard’s concerns that the cuts would hurt the quality of education? “Nonsense and scaremongering!” How does she know this? “He’s the opposition spokesperson.”

In all my time watching politics I struggle to recall seeing such a toxic mix of arrogance and incompetence from a minister in any portfolio, in any government, ever.

Based on this interview, it would appear that all Tolley can tell us for sure is that education cuts are good for our kids. Except, of course, if they go to private schools.

20 comments on “Education cuts good for kids in bizarro Tolley world”

  1. Pascal's bookie 1

    So what is her job?

    Sign things that go over her desk, try and sell them.

    I’d rather we got to elect the people that write the things she signs. please thank you ta.

  2. The really awful thing about the decision to increase funding for private schools is that Treasury recommended funding of half of the increase, ie $17.5m. Tolley disagreed and doubled the amount of the increase. While the rest of the education system had the scalpel applied she bent over backwards to increase the amount that Private Schools would otherwise receive.

    • bobo 2.1

      Nact seem to get away by saying paying less for higher quality service across many departments which never applies to themselves , Tolley wont say which areas are of education spending is of lower priority to be cut. Now I read they are looking to cut the Winnies Goldcard travel budget of 18 million, so poor pensioners will be hit by increased gst and less free off peak travel. So predictable this government.

      • Descendant Of Smith 2.1.1

        And free public transport for the oldies is about more than just subsidising their bus fares surely. Keeping them out and active, giving them options as they lose confidence in driving, keeping them as a visible part of our community – all these things will help us function as a society and reduce the rate and duration of health and residential care costs.

        I catch the bus every day and it’s great not only to see these people out instead of being stuck in their homes but also great to see the interaction between themselves and the other bus passengers young and old.

        I can see little reason for cutting expenditure in this area – it should be increasing.

        Is it (It is) somewhat bizarre that public transport would be the area of transport that this government would reduce funding to – clearly moving goods by road is much more important?

        • Pete

          Surely pensioners should be more aspirational than just settling for public transport, it’s the National government just making our elderly realise that they should want more from life than free off-peak travel, low costs and respect. Bless you Key and co, one and all.

          • Descendant Of Smith

            Hey I’m more aspirational than public transport. Sadly you have to be able to see a darn sight better than I can to be allowed to drive.

            I do offer quite often but no one lets me – even when I proffer my theory that I should be allowed to drive at night because it’s dark and no-one else can see either.

            • Pete

              DoS, maybe you should aspire to see (excusing the pun) a better optomitrist, or magic up some new eyes – say the magic words “let the market decide”…

              Seriously though, this issue needs it’s own post – it’s an incredibly cynical ploy by a government who has no idea what really matters (and has been proved to matter) to society (including individuals that are not in the top tax bracket).

        • mickysavage

          Total annual cost of the free offpeak oldie public transport service – $18m

          Total annual cost of the increase of private school subsidies recommended by Treasury – $17.5m

          Total annual cost of the increase of private school subsidies implemented by Tolley – $35m

          Go figure

  3. freedom 3

    the admission “it is not my job” surely is enough to raise a Question of Confidence in Government

    If Ministers have absolutely no knowledge of the policy details they are resonsible for, how can they debate the policy in the House

    • And why would they order a cut when they do not know what effect it will have on their Ministry?

    • Bill 3.2

      You don’t debate policy when all you have is conviction. You just follow through and keep on following through until someone or something stops you.

      State bad. Private good.

      Government bad. Corporate good.

      • Armchair Critic 3.2.1

        I listened to the interview and I don’t think she sounds like she even has conviction, it’s almost like someone else has told her this is a good idea and she has unquestioningly accepted their word.
        The interview is one of the strangest I’ve ever heard and I’m feeling inspired to home-school my children. Funny thing is, with all the nanny state crap this government has been pulling out of late, I can see that the home schooling option will be made more difficult to access in the future. Free thinkers make messy citizens, after all.

  4. Cnr Joe 4

    time for a study break for the minister?

  5. Ianmac 5

    Yes Eddie. Incredibly incompetent. She lacks the ability to be as plausible as a car saleman convincingly as most MPs seem able to do. Maybe her brief is to box ahead and it will not matter what the substance is because an election promise must go ahead regardless. Remember when David Lange misread his notes and mistakenly declared NZ Nuclear Free? A promise can take off and cannot be withdrawn (although Pansy Wong was heard during the Election to have said that National Testing won’t happen.) Anne Tolley is in our district next week so I will go and ask one question if I can.

    • Craig Glen Eden 5.1

      This woman is straight out incompetent that was the biggest load of crap I have heard.
      They have already cut front line advisors to schools and taken 90 million out of public schools budgets, how you can improve learning in the class room or raise standards by reducing professional development is a bloody mystery.
      Either she’s Jesus or the virgin Mary! No offense to Catholics or Christian folk but hell Tolly is either miraculous or she’s full of stuff.

    • Irascible 5.2

      Pansy always Wong told the then Principal of Howick College,Bill Dimery, who then informed the audience at the school prize giving, that National Standards and testing was not going to go ahead as the NACT officials had discovered that there were more adequate testing tools,like asTTle, already being used.
      She assured the Principal that there was nothing to worry about as it was not a policy that NACT was going to carry through on.

  6. This is the year of the introduction of the cutting edge NZ Curriculum. MORE PD is needed not less. Couild Tolley please stand up for teachers. Looks like Ministry wonks chose the Education portfolio to cut because they know Tolley is a soft touch and incapable of critical thought.

  7. Janice 7

    She also said on TV3 that people in the ministery without the skills to do the new jobs that would be created would have to go. I vote she is the first in line.

  8. tc 8

    Cue Bovver Boy Mallard………the target’s large, the incompetance is breathtaking, the numbers are there to be used by treasury and you’ve already got the taste of blood.

    If Trev can’t knock off this appalling minister on behalf of our kids future then he and the other albatrosses should do the right thing and step aside for MP’s with a fresh approach and no baggage from the Clark era.

  9. Paul3 9

    PM wrong No education spend cuts under National

    Tuesday, 5 August 2008, 11:57 am
    Press Release: New Zealand National Party
    Anne Tolley MP
    National Party Education Spokeswoman

    5 August 2008

    PM wrong No cuts to education spend under National

    Helen Clark is making mischief by suggesting National will cut education spending to fund tax cuts says National’s Education spokeswoman, Anne Tolley.

    “Even the Prime Minister admits she was just guessing when she made the comment.

    “I can tell you categorically that National will not cut spending to education.”

    Umm! I can tell you categorically that National has pretty clear plans to cut spending to education!

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