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Government to put university out of reach for low income students

Media Release
Sarah Hanson-Young 19 Apr 2017

The Australian Greens have slammed the Government’s plans to hit university students with higher fees and force graduates to pay their HELP/HECS back on a much lower income in a move that will price young people from low income families out of a university education.

“This government is determined to put the ‘class’ back into ‘classroom’. We don’t want to see a return of the bad old days when only the well-off could afford a university education. Increasing fees will put university out of reach for many young people, especially those from low income backgrounds,” Greens education spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

“The government has been licking its wounds after the massive backlash from their attacks on students in the cruel 2014 budget. Now it seems they’ve forgotten how widely rejected targeting students was, because these new plans still don’t pass the fairness test.

“At the same time as slashing skilled migrants, this government is doing everything it can to make it harder for everyday Australians to get a university education.

“Funding the university sector isn’t a hit to the budget bottom line, it’s an investment in our future. It’s the Australian public, not the individual, that profits most from higher education, so it makes sense that the government adequately funds university education.

“Young people are already doing it tough, facing under-employment and record high-costs of living. Asking graduates to pay back their HECS/HELP on a lower salary is a desperate cash grab from those who can least afford it. The Greens will continue to fight against the Government’s razor gang and stand up for young people pursuing higher education.”

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