News that the review of the youth allowance system initiated by the Australian Greens last year is being brought forward is welcome, but the challenge for the Government is to find a lasting solution to this flawed system, Senator Hanson-Young said.
"It's clear that the deal brokered between the Government and the Opposition last year has backfired and has failed to provide the certainty country students so desperately need. That's why we successfully amended the Government's own legislation to provide for a review of the whole youth allowance system," said the Greens Education Spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.
When the Government first put this bill forward the Greens moved to include a review of the system of a whole, in recognition that the impact of these major reforms needed to be measured. This is the same review that the Government is now bringing forward.
"Now this review is being fast-tracked, all ideas can be put on the table and the Parliament can work towards a lasting solution."
"The Greens have a fully costed plan that's ready to go. We would use a simple test - students who have to relocate more than 90 minutes out of home to study, and whose parents have a combined income of less than $150,000 would qualify for the full amount of Youth Allowance."
"The costings show that for just over $200 million a year over the forward estimates, we can have a fairer system for all students. Our proposal has been fully costed by treasury and our proposal would be paid for by reconfiguring the resources rent tax."
"We want to see reform of the Youth Allowance system, but we recognise as responsible Parliamentarians, that the funds for this must be found. That is why the Greens propose a reconfigured mining resource rent tax that would generate sufficient additional revenue to cover the costs."
"By reconfiguring the resources rent tax, we're making an investment in local jobs. The mining industry is crying out for skilled workers. This makes an investment in regional communities for the future."
"I hope that the Government uses the Greens' Review as an opportunity to finally act upon our proposal - moving beyond quick policy fixes and finding a lasting solution," said Senator Hanson-Young.