Malcolm Turnbull hit the nail on the head in answer to a question from Labor on the effect of the GST on apprentices who struggle to get ahead on low incomes.
In Question Time today, he said that “regrettably what is on display is a sharp difference between the Government and the Opposition”.
He is right.
Since the election of the Liberal Government approximately $1 billion has been cut from assistance to apprentices.
And now the Prime Minister has refused to rule out further attacking their income with a 15 per cent GST on everything.
A second year apprentice earning only $22,000 per year has already lost $1,000 in Tools for Your Trade payments this year and will lose $2,700 over the next two years because the payment was abolished.
It is not surprising that Australia has lost almost 100,000 apprentices since the election according to a National Centre for Vocational Education and Research (NCVER) report.
The Abbott-Turnbull Government has slashed and cut almost all funding to help apprentices start and complete an apprenticeship:
- $1 billion in cuts to apprenticeship programs such as mentoring, access and the Apprentice to Business Owner program in the 2014-15 Budget;
- Replaced apprentice support with apprentice debt by abolishing the Tools for Your Trade Program;
- Rebadged and cut funding to Australian Apprenticeship Centres;
- Abolished the Joint Group Training program;
- Cutting support for adult apprentices; and
- Put forward zero new ideas for training people for the jobs of the future.
Malcolm Turnbull has not put forward any positive proposals for supporting apprentices or stopping the decline in apprentice commencements and completions.
Today, the Liberals refused to rule out a GST which will make it harder for apprentices on low incomes to get ahead.
The Liberals have a new salesperson but their policies for apprentices remain a complete failure.
WEDNESDAY, 25 NOVEMBER 2015