DAILY TELEGRAPHLast week, the Government announced the most far reaching reform of Australian schools in 40 years, the National Plan for School Improvement. A plan to properly resource our classrooms, teachers and schools for the future so every child in every classroom has the chance to fulfil their potential.
Some children are finishing school three years behind in their numeracy and literacy skills. Allowing so many Australian children to fall behind isnt the right thing to do. Not by them, and not by the country.
To secure our future and their future we have to do more.
Our ability to succeed tomorrow depends on the education we provide today. The schools plan is one of many Labor reforms that look to the future.
We are investing in our skills, our people and our roads and rail to improve the nations productivity. We are building the NBN, the infrastructure of the 21st century.
We are increasing superannuation for all and cutting taxes for low-income earners, improving the retirement incomes of millions of Australians. We are establishing DisabilityCare, the next stage of Medicare.
And we are engaging more deeply and fully with our region because that is where our future prosperity increasingly lies.
Australia has come through the global financial crisis in better shape than almost any other advanced nation. About 900,000 jobs have been created, inflation is contained and interest rates are low.
Our economy is 13 per cent larger than it was before the GFC, while countries such as the US and Germany are struggling to get back to where they were. And the IMFs World Economic Outlook earlier this week forecasts that our economy will grow more than twice as fast as the advanced economies as a whole.
But we cant rely only on our relative strength.
We have to look ahead. We have to strengthen our economy and grow jobs beyond the mining boom. We have to invest wisely, and make sensible savings decisions, recognising that budgets are always finite.
This discipline is even more necessary in the current times.
Just as Australian firms are under pressure because of global conditions and the high dollar, so too is the federal Budget.
Continued global economic uncertainty has seen falls in company profits which means government revenues are much less than expected. In fact, since 2007, government revenues have seen $160 billion in writedowns.
It is within this context that the Treasurer will hand down the federal Budget.
It will be a budget that looks ahead, that again makes the responsible decisions to secure our nations future. Even in an election year, Labor will manage the budget responsibly and make reforms for the future.
From investments in schools to improvements to superannuation, well make the choices that safeguard the interests of Australians now and into the future.