Bumbling McLeish Bungles Budget Speech

29 May 2019

The Victorian Liberals have again shown their financial incompetence and illiteracy with opposition education spokesperson Cindy McLeish bumbling her way through analysis of the Victorian Budget 2019/20.

In a messy Budget reply, Ms McLeish claimed a cut that doesn’t exist after misreading the Budget papers:

“There is a 15 per cent cut in the Department of Education and Training output initiatives if you compare the relevant budget papers for the last two years—budget paper 3, table 1.7—they will show you quite clearly that there has been a drop from $646 million to $546 million, a $100 million drop.” - Parliament of Victoria, Appropriation (2019–2020) Bill 2019, 29 May 2019

Embarrassingly, the Shadow Minister for Education has subtracted the funding figures instead of adding them together.

The $546.6 million in the 2019/20 State Budget is in addition to the $646.0 million in the 2018/19 State Budget and is for expenditure on new initiatives. Therefore, the total education output funding is $1.192 billion in new education funding across the next financial year alone.

The Andrews Labor Government’s record investment of new school initiatives now totals more than $11.7 billion compared to a mere $3.8 billion for schools under the former Liberal Government.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino

“If the Liberals cared about our students they would learn how to read a budget paper and welcome Labor’s record investment in schools.”

“Cindy McLeish has showcased her own incompetence and must correct the record in Parliament.”

“Only Labor invests in schools and the future of our kids.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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