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Priorities

Written By: - Date published: 11:28 am, June 17th, 2009 - 27 comments
Categories: budget 2009, education, national/act government - Tags: ,

Noticed this comment in the Dom this morning [offline] about National’s decision to slash funding for night classes in the Budget:

Finance Minister Bill English said the Government would continue to fund some adult and community education programmes, but had higher priorities in the current recession.

Um, would that be giving $35 million to private schools? Or the tax cuts for the rich that did nothing to stimulate the economy?

What a joke. National’s only priority in this recession is to look after its rich mates.

27 comments on “Priorities ”

  1. Maynard J 1

    Or a party venue for the Rugby World Cup.

    We can not put the cycleway in here since they are not budgeting for it – I wonder why, since it is the centrepiece of National’s recession busting schemes.

    Or hiring hugely expensive minders for the public service who are employed in contradiction to law and report directly to Ministers (so much for ‘restoring the neutrality of the public serive’, another big cross by National’s election promises).

  2. Merlin 2

    Or $50 million for cycleways?

    • So Bored 2.1

      $35 mlln for private schools……better also get the IRD onto the tax deductions made against the “company car” aka 4 wheel drive driven by the wife to deliver the kids to the chosen “better” educational establishment.

      Now if Jonkey wants some action on the cycle way how about getting said kids onto bikes to school, saving petrol and auto costs that can be then turned into cycleway along with enthusiastic private school cyclists……hell I am more creative than Nact and I am so bored.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    What a joke. National’s only priority in this recession is to look after its rich mates.

    We already knew that – well, those of us with a basic understanding of the political right did anyway. They really do believe that everything happens because of rich people and not people getting out there and doing the actual work.

  4. blair 4

    Or $51 million additional funding for special education – i think that’s more worthy than night classes.

  5. Craig Glen Eden 5

    The 6 million pulled from Therapists attached to Children with disabilities is the real kicker. These kids wont be able to go to school.

    But hey who cares about these kids they are in publics schools and after all they are hardly going to be productive Labour units for the capitalist machine right. No benefit to increased productivity for the economy aye.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 5.1

      Yeah but they are being balanced. They have taken away funding to keep gifted children interested in school. Obviously being intelligent isn’t as important as being wealthy.

  6. Greg 6

    “Um, would that be giving $35 million to private schools?”

    Why should parents have to pay twice to send their children to school?

    • Pascal's bookie 6.1

      They don’t have to, they choose to.

      But why should healthy people pay for hospitals they don’t use, or non drivers pay for roads, or pacifists pay for the military, or whatever other ridiculous notion in a similar format.

  7. Greg 7

    Oh and Draco. Do you really believe that rich people do no ‘actual’ work?

  8. Scribe 8

    So you think parents of some children should have to pay for an education their kids don’t receive? (Edit: Snap, Greg)

    And who’s to say the tax cuts didn’t stop the slide from being even more dramatic? That “analysis” from The Dom Post is very weak, but the MSM is in a world of hurt.

  9. Greg 9

    Pascal

    Healthy people pay for hospitals they don’t use because chances are they will need to use them at some stage. Pretty much amounts to compulsory state health insurance which makes sense. I do believe that people who pay for private health insurance should not have to pay twice – this is a much better parallel with the school issue. Your right, non drivers should not have to pay for roads – but its unfortunate that the technology is just not there at the moment to administer this without prohibitive cost. Pacifists pay for the military because the majority of us believe some form of military is necessary – they don’t have to pay twice for it.

    Do you believe that all children should be forced to go to their local school?

    • jarbury 9.1

      Do you believe that all children should be forced to go to their local school?

      The school zoning rules clearly do not say that. What they say is that everyone from within a school’s zone must be accepted.

      A lot of schools don’t have zones, so you’d be able to send your kids to any one of those schools. There is absolutely no way that anyone is forced to send their kids to a particular school.

  10. bilbo 10

    What’s the total Vote education budget over the next four years ?

    I’m guessing multiple billions, why are you quibbling about $35 million over the same time period – instead of partisan hackery perhaps you’d like to consider the areas of increased and decreased funding in more depth ?

    http://www.minedu.govt.nz/theMinistry/Budget/Budget2009/EducationSavings.aspx

  11. Pascal's bookie 11

    “Do you believe that all children should be forced to go to their local school?’

    Don’t really know. I do know that silly little questions based around fundamentally flawed ideas about taxes aren’t likely to be helpful in finding out though.

    Taxes aren’t itemized individual accounts for each citizen that determine what they are, and are not, entitled to. Nor are they itemized as to what they have paid for. That’s a nonsense, and you know it, but a useful enough one for rhetoric I suppose.

    Confusing the rhetorical construct with reality is less than honest IMHO.

  12. Greg 12

    “Don’t really know. I do know that silly little questions based around fundamentally flawed ideas about taxes aren’t likely to be helpful in finding out though.”

    Those are big claims. Please justify.

    “Taxes aren’t itemized individual accounts for each citizen that determine what they are, and are not, entitled to. Nor are they itemized as to what they have paid for. That’s a nonsense, and you know it, but a useful enough one for rhetoric I suppose.”

    Correct, they aren’t. I just extended the analogies that you bought in. But a bit of a red herring to be honest. Our taxes do go to education, now if I’m paying for education privately, why should I have to pay again through taxes?

    • exbrethren 12.1

      Taxes go to an education system. You haven’t paid for a place in a school. People who have no children / have children who have left home pay for the education system as well.

      If you choose to opt out of the state system you have to pay for your alternative.

    • Pascal's bookie 12.2

      The analogies I brought in were deliberately ridiculous. Sorry, I thought that much was clear.

      “Correct, they aren’t.”

      And pop goes your ‘paying twice’ argument.

      It’s as silly as saying that the government spends ‘taxpayer’s money’. It’s a nice rhetorical trick, I’ll grant you, but the money ceases being ‘the taxpayer’s’ when it gets paid as a tax. You don’t get anything by virtue of being a ‘tax payer’. You get them by virtue of being a citizen. It’s a quite important point, historically speaking.

      If you choose not to use some of the things that being a citizen entitles you to, then that in no way ‘entitles’ you to a tax cut. That’s not how the system works, good job too, IMHO.

  13. Greg 13

    No you intended them to be ridiculous – half of them weren’t.

    “And pop goes your ‘paying twice’ argument.”

    So people don’t pay twice for education because the segment of their taxes that goes to education is not itemized? That’s a bit ridiculous.

    “If you choose not to use some of the things that being a citizen entitles you to, then that in no way ‘entitles’ you to a tax cut. That’s not how the system works, good job too, IMHO.”

    No its not how the system works, but how is this a good thing? Its an inefficient system. There are many cases where this is unavoidable – but in education it has a simple fix. To defend the status quo simply on the basis that it is the status quo is silly.

    • Pascal's bookie 13.1

      “That’s a bit ridiculous.”

      No it isn’t.

      What’s ridiculous is pretending that there is an actual identifiable ‘segment of their taxes’ that is paying for ‘their children’s education’ when that is not how either general taxation, or the public education system that is funded out it, work.

  14. exbrethren 14

    Greg,

    as I said before not everyone has children but they still basically pay the same taxes, from which the education system is funded.

    Saying that people should have their choice of education paid for could lead to some pretty dodgy institutions being funded. How about the Brian Tamaki Destiny School or the Socialist Worker Party Kindergarten?

    Any school outside the state system should have to fund its own way fully. If they want the money then they can opt in.

  15. Greg 15

    exbrethren,
    “as I said before not everyone has children but they still basically pay the same taxes, from which the education system is funded.”

    This is true but I don’t see the relevance. If your trying to suggest that I believe people who have no children should not pay for education – your wrong.

    “Saying that people should have their choice of education paid for could lead to some pretty dodgy institutions being funded.”

    People aren’t capable of making the ‘right’ decisions so let the government make them?

    I would have thought a parent is much better equipped to make the ‘right’ decisions than the one size fits all government approach.

    Yes some parents will make dodgy decisions – but this is much better than forcing children to go to one school, a school which may or may not fit their needs. I think you’d find that the ‘Brian Tamaki Destiny School’ or the ‘Socialist Worker Party kindergarten would have pretty low enrollment rates.

  16. NubbleTrubble 16

    Greg, if you hate the current generalised tax system so much and long for a more user pays system please give us a detailed explanation of your ‘ideal’ tax system, you know the one that even the most clever and rabidly right wing think tanks and economists havent figured out? Enlighten us…

  17. exbrethren 17

    Greg, I wasn’t suggesting that you believed that childless people shouldn’t pay for education. I was trying to make the point that no-one pays for education specifically, they pay taxes.

    The education system is based on free education being available for all. Fee paying schools are clearly not part of a universal free education system, this is why I believe they should fund themselves.

    Whilst I don’t dispute that the BTDS & SWPK would have low rolls, this doesn’t alter that fact that I can’t see why they or any other opt out school should be funded. Edit: except in the case of a special needs school.

  18. Greg 18

    Pascal,

    I’m not pretending. I agree with you. What I don’t understand is how that has any bearing on this argument. You seem to be arguing that its impossible to change the system. In education its entirely possible.

    Exbretheren,

    Your argument seems to be along the same line as Pascal. The state education system is based upon the presumption that all children are the same, of course they are not, so it makes sense to have different schools for different kids. The current system does not allow for this (if you can’t afford private education).

    NubbleTrubble

    I’m not attacking the tax system. I’m attacking the way education is currently funded. A voucher system would be much more effective for reasons outlined above.

  19. Pascal's bookie 19

    .I’m not pretending. I agree with you. What I don’t understand is how that has any bearing on this argument. You seem to be arguing that its impossible to change the system. In education its entirely possible.

    I know it can be a difficult having a few conversations at once, so I guess that what might have happened here.

    The only point I am making is that this:

    “Why should parents have to pay twice to send their children to school?”

    is based on a misunderstanding of how the tax and public education systems actually work. Which makes it factually incorrect, but quite good, (though dishonest), rhetoric. If we are in agreement on that, then good.

    I haven’t said anything about the status quo being perfect or impossible to change, so I’m a bit confused on that point. I think if you want to change it though, pretending that parents are ‘paying twice’ for their children’s education, makes it look like you need dishonest rhetoric to make the case.

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