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30 Jul 2013

AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, said today that the Scrap The Cap Alliance – which is calling on the Government to dump plans to impose a $2000 cap on work-related self-education expenses – is growing in numbers and in its determination to make the education cap an election issue.

Representatives of more than 30 organisations of the now 75-member Alliance met in Canberra today to brief advisers from Treasurer Chris Bowen’s office on the political sensitivity of the cap, and to plan the next steps in the strategy to have the policy overturned.

Dr Hambleton said the groups today agreed to increase their efforts to mobilise their members and their constituencies to individually lobby their local MPs to get the message across that this bad policy would cause great damage in the community.

“The Government has to realise that the education cap will hit more than 1.6 million dedicated professionals who provide important services in their communities – and every one of those more than 1.6 million professionals has a vote at this election,” Dr Hambleton said.

“The cap is a disincentive to professional development across the professions.

“The cap is a roadblock to excellence in the professions that provide vital services to Australian families and communities every day.

“Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, veterinarians, dentists, engineers, lawyers – all will be affected.

“Universities and other teaching institutions will be devastated.

“The convention and conference sector will be decimated.

“The Government must scrap this policy, and the Opposition must hold the Government to account.  There are votes to be won and lost over this issue.”

Dr Hambleton said that the Government’s Asian Century White Paper Chapter 5.2 states that “… Education and training are crucial to Australia’s future productivity. The greater the skill level of each worker, the higher the potential productivity of the workforce—a highly educated and skilled workforce supports innovation, the spread of technological advances and the accumulation of physical capital…”.

“The Government must heed its own messages about the importance of education and training and dump this policy before the election – or pay the political consequences,” Dr Hambleton said.


30 July 2013



John Flannery                           02 6270 5477 / 0419 494 761

Kirsty Waterford                       02 6270 5464 / 0427 209 753

Published: 30 Jul 2013