The Herald reports:
Government aims for $1 billion cuts to ‘low priority’ spending, clip fees free scheme
That was the headline which got me excited. I thought the Government had finally seen sense that the massive spending on free tertiary fees was a waste of money that wasn’t increasing tertiary enrolments.
The Government has reallocated almost $200 million from the fees free policies as part of Finance Minister Grant Robertson’s push to cull $1 billion of low priority spending.
The money was cut as the enrolments were not as high as the Government was expecting.
That’s not a cut. The policy hasn’t changed. It is simply reflecting the reality that the policy has failed to boost enrolments, so hence hasn’t cost as much.
To portray this as some sort of sign of fiscal discipline is quite wrong.