OPINION: I was amused by Eric Roy's determination to resort to spin in his reply (July 22) to my earlier letter.
It was his Government that cut funding to the Ministry of Education by $25 million and appointed someone to lead it with no understanding of our public education system (Lesley Longstone had a background in charter schools).
A review by the Prime Minister's Office had revealed that the Ministry of Education was the worst performing in the state sector and yet government ministers agreed to implement Novopay on its advice, with no trial and 147 identified software defects.
The Greens' home insulation scheme has been one of the most successful initiatives supported by this Government and it got a glowing report from Treasury. The initial outlay of $330 million created $1.3 billion worth of benefits and created employment as well as 200,000 healthier homes. If the initial three-year agreement was so incredibly successful, and is still necessary, why cut it?
The demand for early childhood education has grown, partly through this Government's determination to encourage mothers of young children into employment. Despite the recent increase in funding we actually have fewer qualified teachers in each centre and invest far less in the sector than most OECD countries.
Mr Roy needs to talk to the Southland District Council and local truck drivers to understand how his Government has caused a deterioration in our local roads. The NZ Transport Agency has reduced funding and has limited the council's ability to target spending to areas of greatest need. We desperately need a government that properly consults and plans for the future rather than looking for quick fixes that benefit few.
Abridged - Editor
- The Southland Times
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