Labor’s budget completely fails students on placement poverty and student debt


Deputy Greens Leader and Higher Education spokesperson Senator Mehreen Faruqi has responded to the Government’s budget, which was billed as having a higher education and cost of living focus, slamming it as a suite of band aid solutions which don’t come close to matching the scale of the crises students face. 

Lines attributable to Senator Faruqi:
“Students and graduates across the country should feel nothing but betrayal for this Government, who promised big and delivered scraps. 

“Labor’s little tweaks to make the cooked student debt crisis slightly less cooked won’t cut it for the millions of people struggling under the weight of ballooning debts in a cost of living crisis.

“The root of the student debt crisis remains totally untouched. Students are graduating with bigger and bigger debts, in large part due to the Morrison Government’s disgraceful, punitive fee hikes which Labor is backing against their own advice. 

“Labor is gaslighting us with their claims of wiping $3 billion in student debt - all they’re doing is shaving some indexation off the top. The Government is going to squeeze more than $7 billion from student debt indexation over the next few years.

“Setting indexation to the lower of CPI or WPI is akin to rearranging deck chairs on the titanic. WPI is usually higher than CPI so this change will make little difference. 

“Labor is offering scraps from the table as a solution to placement poverty. Their policy excludes most of the students it should be helping, works out to a measly $8 per hour and won’t do anything for anyone until 1 July 2025.”