Hockey is standing by a slowing of federal funding to the states for their schools and public hospitals.
The government in last year's Budget announced an $80 billion easing of funding to the states, sparking outrage from Labor and the state premiers.
Hockey on Tuesday told reporters ahead of his second Budget that the spending slowdown remained in place in order to balance the books.
"Some of the states are running surpluses - we are not running a surplus," he said.
"Don't shed a tear for the states."
The "bonus payment" spending had been earmarked by Labor and never properly funded in the Budget, Hockey said. However, over the next four years there would be six per cent real growth in health and education spending.
The states will benefit from a 5.6 per cent rise in GST receipts in 2015/16, to $57 billion.
New South Wales will take the lion's share ($17.3 billion), followed by Queensland ($13 billion), Victoria ($12.7 billion), South Australia ($5.5 billion), the Northern Territory ($3.3 billion), Tasmania ($2.2 billion), Western Australia ($1.9 billion) and the ACT ($1 billion).
In an effort to ensure Australian children have the best possible start in life, the Federal Government has committed $843 million over 2016 and 2017 to fund more preschool programs across Australia. This will be part of the National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education, to be used to provide 15 hours of preschool education per week for every child before they start Year 1.
Students with a disability will receive extra support, with a record $1.3 billion being provided in 2015-16, and more than $5 billion over 2014-17 through the funding loading for students with a disability.
“From 2016, for the first time ever, Commonwealth funding will be informed by the National Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD) so that all students with disability are funded on the same basis, regardless of the state or territory in which they live,” Education Minister Christopher Pyne said in a statement.
The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) will also receive an extra $16.9 million to implement recommendations stemming from the Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group (TEMAG) Report titled Action Now: Classroom Ready Teachers.
Pyne says this money will be focused on strategies to improve the quality of teacher training, including the introduction of a literacy and numeracy test for initial teacher education students, improving in-class practical elements of teaching degrees and ensuring all graduate primary teachers hold a subject specialisation.
As well as providing $5.4 million to extend the Indigenous Boarding Initiative throughout the 2015 and 2016 school years, the Government will provide an additional $5 million in 2015-16 to support the crucial work of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) in the preservation of Australian Indigenous cultural heritage.
In terms of cuts, the federal Department of Education will take a $7.6 million hit, with an additional $123.4 million in savings to be generated from the department in coming years through terminating or redesigning existing programs. These cuts form part of the Coalition’s “Smaller Government” reform agenda.
Australian Greens Spokesperson for Schools, Senator Penny Wright says the government is trying to use tricky accounting to hide their broken promises on school funding and disability loadings.
"The Abbott Government promised a full disability loading this year – but instead they are continuing with a completely inadequate model which has left 100,000 students with a disability without any educational support at all," she said.
"This Budget outlines a cut in real terms to overall school funding from 2018-19, with increases indexed well below the actual cost of providing education.
"The Abbott Government’s broken promises on the Gonski school funding reforms means millions of Australian students will continue to attend under-funded schools and increase inequality in education."
Responding to the Federal Budget, Geoff Ryan, chief executive of the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA), welcomed the Australian Government’s continued commitment to recurrent funding of non-government schools.
He noted, however, that the 2015 Budget confirmed the Australian Government’s stated intention to rein in Commonwealth spending on areas considered to be the responsibility of the states and territories, including school education.
“Non-government schools account for 35 per cent of Australian school enrolments and the Australian Government is their major source of government funding,” Ryan said in a statement.
“The Government will continue to fund non-government schools under the existing per-student recurrent funding model, but from 2018 will index grants according to the Consumer Price Index.
“For some years the CPI has risen at a lower rate than the index of Average Government School Recurrent Costs (AGSRC). The AGSRC captures the increasing cost of school provision, including wage rises for teachers, which the CPI does not.
“The longer-term effect of this move will be to shift to parents even more of the costs of educating students in non-government schools.”
According to Australian Education Union national president, Correna Haythorpe, this Budget offers nothing for schools and students.
“The Abbott government has confirmed they have no vision to improve schools, and no commitment to equity in education.
"Abandoning Gonski means thousands of disadvantaged students will not have the chance to achieve their full potential,” she said.
Ads tell parents to pay attention to kids
Taxpayers will fund $5 million on advertisements to remind parents how important it is they be part of their children's school community.
However, money for the latest government campaign will come from cash allocated to ads spruiking the twice-failed universities deregulation package that hasn't been spent yet.
The Federal Government says it wants to raise awareness of the positive effect parental engagement has on children's academic achievements.
Research Peter robbed to pay Paul
The Federal Government will pay for research infrastructure by taking $150 million from grants to other academics.
Last year, the government gave the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy a year's extra funding, tying the $150 million price tag to its controversial higher education reforms.
In Tuesday's Budget it gave the 1700 researchers who rely on the program another year's reprieve with a second $150 million allocated for 2016/17.
But the Sustainable Research Excellence grants take a $150 million haircut in the same year to pay for this, and lose another $112.5 million over the following two years.
The Government's also cutting nearly $27 million from co-operative research centres and $131 million from the education department.
Funding for The Conversation, a website publishing columns and research by Australian academics, won't continue past this financial year.
Meanwhile, the government intends pushing on with its plan to overhaul higher education and bank the savings.
"We are absolutely determined to put it back to the Senate," Treasurer Joe Hockey told reporters in Canberra of the twice-rejected package.
What’s in the Budget for higher education:
- No mention about the future of university fee deregulation.
- Extend National Collaborative Research Infrastructure funding for one more year at a cost of $150 million
- Cut $150 million from Sustainable Research Excellence grants funding to redirect to research infrastructure
- Cut $131 million from the education department, including abolishing the internal Office of Learning and Teaching and set it up at a university instead
- Cut $26.7 million from co-operative research centres
- Pursue HECS debts from people who move overseas, saving $26 million over four years
- $4 million to establish Bjorn Lomborg's Australia Consensus Centre think tank