By Tanya Plibersek

06 October 2020



SUBJECTS: Federal budget; university fees.
TANYA PLIBERSEK, SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Australian families are doing it really tough at the moment. It's hard to find a job, it's harder to make ends meet than it has been for many years. So this Budget tonight, of course, is a very important one. And I guess what we can expect from Scott Morrison, is that he'll dial the marketing up to 11 tonight. 
What we need to be careful of is the gap between announcement and delivery with this Government. They're great at the headline. They're great at the marketing and the spin, they're useless and delivery. When you look at apprenticeships, there was an announcement earlier this week, a couple of years ago this Government said that they would deliver 300,000 extra trainees and apprentices. In fact, there are a 140,000 fewer trainees and apprentices than when the Liberals came to office. The infrastructure get, they've announced billions of dollars of spending and they've under spent those announcements by billions of dollars and jobs. Remember before Covid-19. We had almost two million Australians who wanted a job or wanted more hours of work. Right now, we've got millions of people desperate for a job. But why would you believe anything this Government says about jobs when they've spent years trying to make it easier to sack people and cut their pay. This is a government that's addicted to spin and terrible at delivery.
PLIBERSEK: We think it's very important that JobKeeper support remains in the economy - we know that businesses will hit a wall if JobKeeper is withdrawn too quickly and too harshly. There are many people whose jobs depend on it right now.
PLIBERSEK: Well we'll see what's in the budget tonight. We've made very clear for well over a year that we support bringing forward tax cuts for low and middle income earners. We'll see what's in the Budget tonight.
JOURNALIST: The Government has been quite harsh in a way urging *INAUDIBLE*
PLIBERSEK: Well we've been urging the Government to bring forward tax cuts for low and middle income. I'm not really sure whether people are very high income, if they get a few extra dollars in their pocket, are going to go out and spend that money. That's the problem here. This is a Government that has an ideological mission to deliver for the highest income earners let's see what they actually put into the Budget tonight.
JOURNALIST: And just on JobReady *INAUDIBLE* problems with that, is it going to go through? *INAUDIBLE*
PLIBERSEK: Well, my message is after the year that these Year 12 kids have had this year, with Covid-19 disrupting their learning, distance education, remote learning, cancelled graduations, all of the trouble they've been through - now is the very coolest time to make it harder and more expensive to go to university. We should be making it easier for people to go to TAFE or university. With so many people unemployed, why would we more than double the cost of thousands of university degrees? Remembering that these kids actually made up their minds about what they want to study months ago, or years ago in some instances, now to be told that the cost of the degree that they've got their heart set on, is going to more than double is a cruel blow and the worst possible time. Thanks everyone.