Government's Treatment of Young PeopleMedia Release
The Morrison Government is hanging young people out to dry when they need the support the most, Corangamite MP Libby Coker says.
New figures from the ABS show youth unemployment in Australia has risen to 16.3%.
Ms Coker said if the young people couldn’t get work, the government should be focussed on doing everything they can to help them study now and attain skills to get them ‘job-ready’.
“Instead this government just wants to punish students for seeking higher education. Firstly, by more than doubling some degrees and secondly by ripping HECS loans away from students who fail for whatever reason,” she said.
“Struggling and vulnerable students will be most at risk from this policy. They need help not punishment.
“Imagine being a year 11 or 12 student this year – already hit with the pandemic disruptions – and then to also be slapped with higher fees and the potential for your government assistance to be withdrawn.
“On top of this the government has not confirmed it will raise the rate of unemployment benefit. $40 a day is simply not enough.
“Why is this government so hell-bent on targeting young people?”
Ms Coker will on Thursday hold a virtual roundtable discussion with Labor’s Shadow Education Minister Tanya Plibersek about ensuring higher education is more affordable and accessible to everyone.
Ms Coker said the meeting was prompted by a constructive meeting with three local students – university students Ana and Martinique, as well as a Surf Coast 2 student, Lily.
All three were concerned about what the government’s fee increases will mean for them as they look to pursue further higher education.
Lily Watterson, 18, said she was concerned the skyrocketing fees would push people into ill-suited degrees.
Martinique’s dreams of completing her masters may be unattainable due to the increasing post-graduate fees, leaving her with significant debt, just as she is starting out in the workforce.
Ms Coker’s call comes just days after a member of Scott Morrison’s own cabinet came forward to slam the draft legislation put forward.
“With all this Liberal and National infighting, you’ll excuse us if Labor waits to see what the final legislation says,” she said.Share Tweet