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Students Given False Hope - No Funding For Coalition’s Empty Promise

Media Release
Sarah Hanson-Young 10 Feb 2011

Once again rural and regional students miss out on essential support because of the political games of the Government and the Coalition, said the Australian Greens.

"The Greens had a fully costed proposal for a fairer Youth Allowance System that both the Government and Coalition voted down. The Government must acknowledge that they have created this problem and need to fix it now."

"The Coalition failed to accept responsibility for finding a mechanism to pay for the proposed bill. They aim to pay for their Youth Allowance proposal by cutting the Education Investment Fund, the very fund that provides infrastructure to regional university campuses. So with Tony Abbott already giving this money away, the Coalition's promised cash in the kitty isn't there. This is nothing more than false hope for students - another empty promise from the Coalition."

"Returning to the old youth allowance system, won't provide the clarity regional students desperately need. It would still force country students to defer their studies for up to two years. This creates a two-class system, where city students are better supported and rural and regional students are forced to keep jumping through hoops."

"With only 30 per cent of country students who defer, later returning to study, the Coalition would fail to encourage rural and regional students into further education."

"The Greens have an alternate policy that 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 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."

"Once again the Coalition is looking for a short-term policy fix, rather than looking at long-term solutions," Senator Hanson-Young said.

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