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.