Abbott denies he has broken an election promise on Gonski
DESPITE a growing wall of opposition to the Federal Government's plan to ditch Labor's school reforms after next year, Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Sunday denied he had broken an election promise.
Mr Abbott made the comments on commercial television, saying the government was going to keep its promise, after a week where Education Minister Christopher Pyne walked away from election pledges of a "unity ticket" on education funding.
Before and after a key meeting with state education ministers, Mr Pyne confirmed no funding agreements would be honoured past next year, but those who did not sign up, would share in $230 million in extra funds.
Mr Pyne has said he plans to release a new plan for funding education early next year, but despite saying the Howard Government's approach to funding would be a "starting point", denied he would be replicating the old model.
"We are going to keep the promise that we actually made, not the promise that some people thought that we made or the promise that some people might have liked us to make," Mr Abbott said.
"We're going to keep the promise that we actually made and what you will have as a result of us keeping our commitment, we will clean up Labor's mess in schools, as we will clean up their mess on budgets, on borders and everywhere else."
But Australian Education Union federal deputy president Correna Haythorpe said Mr Abbott's comments on Sunday were an "insult to parents and teachers".
"So much for a no surprises, no excuses government. Instead, we now have a Prime Minister that refuses to guarantee no school will be worse off under his plans for schools funding," she said.
"Nor will the Prime Minister guarantee the public school share of extra funding."
After Mr Pyne said last week the same "funding envelope" would be provided Mr Abbott said "the quantum (of funding) will be the same".