Australian Greens higher education spokesperson Sarah Hanson-Young has slammed the Government for forcing young people out of university by pushing $2.1 billion in cruel cuts to higher education through the backdoor.
"This Government is preventing young people from low-income families from improving their lot in life and furthering their education. Capping places and upping university fees will do nothing but price people out of an education," Senator Hanson-Young said.
"Will Labor, if elected, commit to reversing these cuts and lifting the freeze in two years' time? The Greens call on Labor and the crossbench in the Senate to hold firm against lowering the HECs repayment threshold.
"The Government's elitist agenda is well-and-truly on show in MYEFO. After shepherding through penalty rate cuts that will largely affect students and now slogging students with more debt, the Government is actively working against young people breaking the cycle of poverty, improving their job prospects and even being able to buy their own home. The Government's budget surplus is based on wage growth fantasy but these cuts are real and will hurt.
"While the rest of the world is investing in education to prepare young people for the jobs of the future, this Government is sending our nation backwards.
"Students across the country getting their Year 12 results this month will now be paying a higher price for the university courses they applied for earlier this year. In what should be an exciting new chapter for teenagers around the country is now in the shadow of debt and poverty, just so the Government can chase its fairy-tale budget bottom line."