Thursday, October 07, 2010

More ECE cuts on the way

Hot on the heels of this year's $400 million cut, which will see ECE costs rise by $30 per week per child on average, it looks like the government is planning more:

An early childhood education taskforce that critics say is set up to cut costs has been confirmed by Education Minister Anne Tolley.

The group, which will report back by March, will review the effectiveness of early childhood education spending.

Mrs Tolley said that under Labour, ECE costs had "blown out" to treble within five years to $1.3b a year.

Its pretty obvious that National regards ECE spending as a waste of money (their definition of "waste of money": anything that benefits poor people or reduces inequalities). But it has substantial long-term benefits for our society as a whole, leading to healthier, better-educated kids who grow up to be healthier, wealthier, and more stable adults. But the problem in that phrase is "long-term" - the benefits of ECE spending will be felt long after the current crop of National MPs have left office, while the "benefit" of slashing them to pay for tax cuts for the rich happens now. And to a bunch of businessmen (and they are almost all men), that makes the logic inescapable: they'll chose short-term profit over long-term investment any day.

If that logic seems frighteningly familiar, its because its the same logic employed by the foreign owners of TransRail when they ran it into the ground. National is effectively doing the same thing to our society, strip-mining it for short-term profit for their cronies.