At the meeting, the group called on the Federal Government in the strongest possible terms to reverse the decision. It called on the Coalition to oppose the measure.
The groups attending the meeting decided to launch a campaign aimed at persuading policy makers to scrap the cap.
Attending the meeting were professional groups representing doctors, nurses, dentists, engineers, accountants, architects, lawyers, pharmacists, veterinarians, universities, company directors and many other professions and services united in their vehement opposition to this measure.
“The cap on tax deductions for self-education is a tax on learning at the very time when we need to encourage continuous up-skilling of the qualifications needed for a productive, diverse, innovative, knowledge based economy”, said Belinda Robinson, Chief Executive of Universities Australia, speaking after the meeting.
Ms Robinson pointed out that the measure would undermine efforts to encourage greater productivity, innovation and workforce participation.
“This is a short sighted measure which will have long-term consequences as we move from the resources boom to diversify our economy and build new knowledge-based industries.
“A smarter Australia requires a smarter approach to lifelong education and training”, Ms Robinson said.
At the meeting, the group agreed to step up its advocacy in opposition to the cap including by commissioning modelling on the impact on the economy and other means.
“This is a national interest issue and we cannot afford to stand by and allow the urgent need for professional education to be discouraged.
“Our economic future and the health, safety and well-being of all Australians are at stake”, Ms Robinson said.