You’d never know that there is an election imminent.
Two months ago Health Minister Cunliffe slagged off striking doctors for being “unrealistic“, backed up by CTU President Helen Kelly, of all people. Now Education Minister Chris Carter has told a group of North Shore secondary school principals protesting against inadequate funding to “stop moaning and start teaching“. Primary school principals are considering joining the protest.
Carter points out that the Government has spent $5 billion on education since 1999. This year’s amount represents 4.4% of GDP and compares with 3.5% in Australia. He’s right. But it appears that he’s the only person in the country who isn’t aware of the problems schools have experienced with their funding for maintenance, amongst other things.
One thing’s for sure, dissing the hard-working people who struggle to keep our schools and hospitals functioning is not a sure-fire fix for sagging poll ratings.
[Update: The PPTA weighs in, telling Minister Carter that the concerns of the North Shore principals are "shared right across the secondary school sector." Will he listen now? The answer appears to be, not.]