Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Education Minister’s Grants Build White Elephants

Education Minister’s Grants May Build White Elephants

Early Childhood Council President Ross Penman questions the $8 million in capital grants Œre-announced yesterday by the Minister of Education, which will apparently be used to extend or build more community managed early childhood centres. "This is aimed at more buildings, despite the fact that nationally there appears to be 25% un-used capacity in existing centres, in a sector which is also facing falling pre-school population and a chronic teacher shortage", Penman says.

"The ECC also has serious concerns about the transparency of the allocation process, and the criteria which already excludes the majority of ece providers because they are private enterprises. By the bias inherent in the grants scheme, only parents who can choose committee managed services will benefit; most working parents will miss out.

"This money would be better allocated to increase the operational grants and this would ensure it was equitably distributed and that it benefited families using the service, rather than the construction of white elephants, that families cannot afford to use anyway. The real problem isn't building shortages or choices, but affordability.

"The ECC also questions whether taxpayer funds should be used as capital grants for building or land acquisition projects for Non-Government Organisations anyway. The State gains no ownership from these substantial grants, which sometimes exceed $1,000,000 and which sometimes have poor accountability. The real problem they are trying to solve is to seed organisations who cannot otherwise get access to capital from equity or loans. Rather than capital grants the Government could achieve the same effect by providing or underwriting repayable loans at fair interest rates. Such loans should be on the condition they create places in areas where there is no convenient excess capacity."

Penman says, "The saving from moving from grants to loans (which would be self-supporting), should go into Government operational subsidies and help reduce parent fees and sustain higher teacher wages. Alternatively the $8 million could have been used to provide free childcare for over a 1000 children of needy families."

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Tourism’s Endless Sense Of Grievance

Sad that a once in a century pandemic should have come along before the government had a clearly thought out plan for rescuing all the firms and saving all the jobs in the tourism sector. Sad that the government now looks like it was making up the criteria for support as it went along. But guess what? To some extent, they were. Possibly because in the modern era, a pandemic had never before caused international travel to evaporate almost overnight... More>>


PREFU: Economy Doing Better Than Forecast

The Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update released today shows that the near-term economic recovery has been stronger than the Treasury and many economists predicted at the May Budget, as the economy bounced back strongly out of lockdown... More>>


PM Statement: Cabinet COVID-19 Alert Level Review

Takiri mai te ata, ka ao, ka ao, ka awatea, tihei mauriora! Tātou katoa ngā iwi o Aotearoa, tēnā koutou! Tēnā tātou e whakanuia ana i te wiki nei, te wiki o te reo Māori Greeting to you all from Otepoti, Dunedin. This week is the Māori ... More>>


Greens: $297m Fund To Support Sustainable Food And Farming

The Green Party has released its Farming for the Future Plan, including a $297m fund to support farmers and growers to transition to climate-friendly practices. The plan will: · Improve how we look after our land and water, with a levy on the ... More>>


National: Plan To Restore NZ’s Prosperity

National’s Economic and Fiscal Plan carefully balances the need to invest in infrastructure and core public services while also reducing tax pressure on Kiwi families and businesses. National Leader Judith Collins and Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith unveiled National’s ... More>>


NZ First: Party List

New Zealand First has a proven twenty-seven-year history of bringing balance and common sense to our government. Amid the continued setbacks of COVID-19 restrictions, New Zealand First has once again sustained its profile by selecting a strong team ... More>>

Election: Arriving Travellers In Isolation To Be Able To Vote By Telephone

Up to 5,000 people in managed isolation or quarantine will be able to vote by telephone in the general election and referendums after an amendment to electoral regulations last week. Chief Electoral Officer Alicia Wright says the Electoral Commission sought ... More>>

National: Investing In Our Children’s Future

A National Government will prioritise lifting achievement for all New Zealand children, no matter their background or ability, National Party Leader Judith Collins and National’s Education spokesperson Nicola Willis say. “Parents just want what’s best for ... More>>

Police: Numerous Arrests Following Investigation Into Historical Offending At Auckland School

Detective Senior Sergeant Geoff Baber, Auckland City Police: Police have made six arrests as part of an operation investigating historical offending at Dilworth School. Auckland City Criminal Investigation Branch have been investigating since a complaint ... More>>






InfoPages News Channels