Better than a pointless tax cut for the rich

School funding crisis could be fixed by freeze on millionaire tax cuts The Alliance Party says school funding issues are putting public education at risk. Alliance education spokesperson Richard Mitchell says Prime Minister John Key could use his charitable impulses to good use and freeze the upcoming tax cuts to those on high incomes like himself. The fact that schools continue to struggle to pay their support staff should come as no surprise to the government, says Mr Mitchell. He says the priorities of a decent education system for all children outweighed the need for promoting lifestyles of the rich and famous. “School operational grants have been under funded for too long now. You only have to open your ears to the number of principals calling out for extra assistance as proof of this.” He says school principals have long been echoing the Alliance’s call for an increase in the operational grants. “It is high time the Minister of Education listened.” Mr Mitchell says that support staff should be paid centrally, not out of operational grants, as support staff can’t compete with the many funding demands of schools to get the recognition they deserve. “The fact that parents are finding it more difficult to make so-called donations to schools only further highlights the needs for schools to be properly funded by the State.” Excessive school costs should not be permitted, he says. “The increasing cost of living should be a clear sign that an immediate review of school funding is required to ensure all New Zealand children, not just the children of the well off, have access to top quality public education.” Mr Mitchell says if New Zealand is to have a free education system, funded by the collective citizens of New Zealand through taxation and not individual parents, then the Government must be prepared to invest the necessary funds, which will mean reducing tax cuts to those on high salaries like John Key. “I hold no faith that National Party is prepared to make this necessary commitment as they seem to have little interest in improving the lot of ordinary New Zealanders.”

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