INDEPENDENT NEWS

Nats should come clean on voucher plan

Published: Mon 13 Dec 2004 08:44 AM
Nats should come clean on voucher plan
Don Brash’s proposal for tax relief for parents who send their children to private schools hides the National Party’s real agenda for education, says PPTA president Phil Smith.
Mr Smith was responding to comments on education in Dr Brash’s media release on taxation. He said Dr Brash was proposing what effectively would amount to a shift of education revenues from public to private education.
“Dr Brash hasn’t come out and said it directly but you can bet your bottom dollar that if National win next year’s election, privatisation in the form of vouchers to attend private schools will be on the agenda.
“First of all he would cut taxes with disastrous effects on health and education infrastructure and then he would use the taxes that remain to subsidise the children of his wealthy mates to attend private schools.
“The people who will do best under the Brash proposals will not be those that he claims are currently disadvantaged today but those who are already doing well under the current system.”
Mr Smith said National’s proposal might reduce costs for some parents but it would do nothing to enhance educational achievement, or equity.
“If Dr Brash really wants to dip into the government’s tax reserves to enhance educational achievement and boost equity in this country, he would be better off increasing the level of funding to enable all schools to buy the resources to deliver a quality education to all their students.”

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