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Greens Slam Labor/ Liberal University Cuts

Media Release
Robert Simms 1 Dec 2015

The Greens have slammed the Government and Labor for banding together and exhuming Labor's 2013 higher education cuts, leaving students in the lurch.

A deal was reached between the two old parties today that will see add an extra $6000 of debt for the average Bachelor student receiving Youth Allowance or Austudy.

"This news will send a shiver down the spine of students and the higher education sector," said Greens Higher Education Spokesperson, Senator Robert Simms.

"Today lead balloons will be dropping at University campuses right around the country as students reel from this announcement. After promising a new vision for higher education, today the government are delivering a re-heated version of Labor's budget cuts. No new ideas, just the same stale old politics and slash and burn economics.

"When Labor put these cuts on the table two years ago, the Greens stood with students and academics in opposing them. Once again, we will resist these attacks on the higher education sector in the parliament and the community.

"This is another betrayal of students and the sector by a spineless Labor Party."

The agreement reached to today between the Coalition and Labor will see the $1025 Student Start Up Scholarship, which currently goes to all eligible students twice a year turned into Student Start Up Loans. This means that the $2050 received per annum will instead be added to a student's HELP debt and repaid via the usual process as other HELP debts. It will also abolish the 10% student discount for paying HELP debt upfront.

Media contact: Cambell Klose 0417 173 508


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