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Read the Budget properly Maurice, urges Maharey

24 May 2002

National’s tertiary education spokesperson Maurice Williamson is hopelessly wrong with his claims this afternoon that universities will only receive a $10 million increase in government funding next year, says Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey.

Steve Maharey urged Maurice Williamson to read the Budget estimates again and encouraged him to reissue his press statement with the correct facts, which confirm that tertiary education was a big winner in yesterday’s Budget.

“Maurice Williamson’s press statement helpfully overlooks the $141 million budgeted for special supplementary grants in 2002-03 which is where the 4.5 per cent per EFTS funding increase is located. In addition of course, universities gained substantial new funding from other initiatives like Centres of Research Excellence (up $13 million in 2002-03 to $15 million).

“As a former associate minister of tertiary education Maurice should also know that tertiary institutions operate on a calendar year basis (January to December), so comparing financial years (July to June) will always underestimate any increase.

“I don’t whether it is sadder that this is what the National party has been reduced to this election year, or that such a basic mistake should have been made by somebody who was a minister of the Crown for nine years,” Steve Maharey said.

Ends

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