Voters in Pearce prefer public school investment over tax cuts for the wealthy

24 April 2019

New polling has shown that voters in Pearce haven’t been fooled by the Morrison Government’s attempts to disguise its $14 billion in public school funding cuts as evidence of record school funding.

The Morrison Government cuts would see $501 million cut from public schools in Western Australia over the next three years.

According to the polling, voters in Pearce overwhelmingly support a greater investment in public schools rather than tax cuts for high income earners as proposed by the Morrison Government.

More than two thirds of voters polled in Pearce, including nearly 61% of Liberal voters, said a much greater investment in local public schools was a better use of federal funding than tax cuts for high income earners.

The poll of more than 640 voters was conducted last week.

State School Teacher’s Union of Western Australia President Pat Byrne said an overwhelming majority of voters in Pearce also indicated that public school funding would be an important or very important issue for them when deciding how to vote.

“The Morrison Government’s plan to cut $501 million cut from public schools in Western Australia while delivering big tax cuts to high income earners is the opposite to what the public wants,” Ms Byrne said.

“They want to see our children in public schools in Banksia Grove, Yanchep, Ellenbrook and West Swan put first, not unaffordable tax cuts that will lead to $40 billion in government spending cuts every year just to pay for them.”

The polling shows:

  • 9 in 10 voters in Pearce say proper funding of public schools is important to them when deciding how to vote, including over 80% of Liberal supporters
  • 94% of undecided voters want to prioritise funding for public schools over extra funding for private schools
  • 100% of independent voters would prefer to see the government fund public schools instead of handing out tax cuts to high income earners
  • 45% of voters in Pearce say the Coalition’s $4.6 billion extra to private schools makes them less likely to vote Liberal, more than 3.5 times the number who are more likely to vote Liberal.

Only 11% of undecided voters are more likely to vote Liberal after hearing about the Coalitions’ $4.6 billion extra for private schools. Four times as many voters (44%) are less likely to vote Liberal.

“The Federal Coalition’s record on education and public schools is a poor one,” Ms Byrne said.

“First Tony Abbott tried to cut $30 billion from schools, and then Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison reduced that to a $14 billion cut for public schools.”

“That meant schools across Pearce, from Brabham to Brigadoon, received less funding for high-needs students, such as those with a disability and those from disadvantaged backgrounds,” Ms Byrne said.

“By contrast, public schools in Pearce would receive an extra $37,480,000 in funding in the first three years of a Shorten Labor Government.

Ms Byrne said there was a clear choice for voters in Pearce who care about public schools and students, with Labor pledging to reverse all Scott Morrison’s $14 billion in school cuts.

“Public schools in Pearce deserve better,” Ms Byrne said.