TRANSCRIPT: DOORSTOP INTERVIEW, CANBERRA, TUESDAY 27 MARCH 2018

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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP   
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION 
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION AND TRAINING 
SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
DOORSTOP INTERVIEW
CANBERRA
TUESDAY, 27 MARCH 2018

SUBJECTS: School funding; childcare; dividend imputation. 

TANYA PLIBERSEK MP, DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: I'm delighted to welcome about sixty teachers and principals to Canberra today. These teachers and principals have come to Canberra to continue their fight for proper funding for their schools. They have travelled from all over Australia to send a strong message to the Government, urging the Government to restore the $17 billion cut from schools over the next decade. These principals and teachers know exactly the effect of extra funding for their schools, on their school communities, on the schools that they represent. They know that kids have been getting extra one on one help, extra attention, extra support with the basics and extension activities. They know that without ongoing funding those kids would miss out. So I welcome those teachers and principals to Canberra today, and I thank their union, the Australian Education Union for supporting their trip to Canberra and for launching the next phase of the union's campaign to urge the Government to reverse its funding cuts. The union has done polling just recently, which should of be great interest to the Government, 79 percent of people polled have said that proper funding for public schools is more important than $65 billion of big business tax cuts. Mums and Dads, parents right across Australia, even people whose kids have grown up know that investing in education for our children is the best gift that we can give individual kids and it’s the best investment that we can make in our future prosperity as a nation. Thanks any questions?

JOURNALIST: Early childcare workers are taking industrial action today [inaudible], how do you feel about their [inaudible] wages?

PLIBERSEK:  Look I know that it's very difficult for parents to make alternate arrangements, but the parents I've spoken to, the parents I've heard from are very supportive of the childcare workers’ demand for better pay. Because they know that these early childcare educators are giving not just their professional knowledge, not just their physical care for these children but they are nurturing these children. It is completely ridiculous that someone with a Certificate III in early childhood gets paid just over $20 an hour while someone with a Certificate III  in metalwork gets paid more like $40 an hour and no one can tell me that the fact that 97 percent of these workers are women is not relevant to the fact that they are being so massively underpaid. It's just not possible for the workforce in early childhood care and education to continue to be ripped off in this way, unable to afford to support themselves, particularly in cities like Sydney. Any other questions? 

JOURNALIST: Discussions about the exemption for pensioners in the tax shares?

PLIBERSEK:  Well we always said that we would look after pensioners and we're very pleased today to announce that we will exempt every person on a government pension, part pension or allowance, or any self-managed super fund that has a pensioner or a part pensioner as a member of that self-managed super fund and what's actually phenomenal about this announcement today is the fact that even in exempting all of these pensioners and part pensioners we still will raise well over $10 billion over the next four years from this measure and well over $55 billion over the decade. What this shows is the Government's scare campaign of pensioners suggesting that this measure was coming after pensioners is complete misdirection, the people who will be contributing this money are people who are already doing pretty well. The benefits are concentrated very strongly at the upper-income levels in the community. So we are very pleased to make the announcement today. Thanks.

ENDS