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Penny-pinching on education leaves the nation lagging
Educational attainment is a proven path to higher incomes, not only for the individual concerned, but also for the nation as a whole.
The latest research from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Education at a Glance 2017, shows that in each of the 38 countries in the survey, adults with below upper secondary education were paid an average 25% less than someone with upper secondary education. There was an even more extreme difference with a 56% average pay advantage for those attaining a tertiary education against upper secondary schooling.
Put together, this means that someone with a tertiary education will, on average, get roughly double the income of those with below upper secondary education.
The public policy implications of these findings should be obvious.
The first step should be to ensure that all children get fundamental reading, writing and arithmetic skills, without which completion of upper second education is impossible, let alone the step to tertiary education. Targeted, sufficient and productive public investment in human capital (education) via skilled teachers and high level, up to date resources for students are a bare minimum. Any shortfall in this infrastructure to provide a good start to education will show up in a short fall in educational attainment in later life with negative implications for the economy.
Increase in net government debt under current Coalition government: $148 billion or $3.36 billion a month.
GROSS GOVERNMENT DEBT
Friday 15 September 2017: Value of government securities on issue (Gross government debt) was $503 billion. Source: aofm.gov.au
Increase in gross government debt under current Coalition government: $230 billion or $5.23 billion a month.
Under Labor (2007 - 2013), net debt rose by $203 billion or $2.86 billion a month, even during the GFC and with associated fiscal stimulus policies, some $500 million a month less than current Coalition government.