The Federal Greens Party said it plans to call on the next elected government to abolish student debt after the Federal Election.
The Greens announced the new policy on Thursday alongside its previous promise to make TAFE and universities fee-free.
It’s the first major Aussie party to make this a policy ahead of the Federal Election. Student debt is a real problem for young people so you absolutely love to see it.
Greens Senator and Spokesperson for Education Mehreen Faruqi and SA Greens Senate candidate Barbara Pocock will launch the policy.
“Abolishing all student debt will have enormous positive impacts for millions of people who will be able to afford to live a better life,” Senator Faruqi said in a statement.
“Young people and women have borne the economic brunt of the pandemic. With the cost of living and housing skyrocketing, it’s time to provide relief by wiping their student debt.”
“High levels of student debt stand in the way of secure housing for many young people,” Pocock added.
“It means they start their working lives in the red. My generation did not begin this way. The past three decades of continuous economic growth mean they should not either.”
Federal Greens MP for Melbourne Adam Bandt said young people “shouldn’t leave TAFE or university with a loan that will take a lifetime to pay off” in a Tweet on Thursday.
“We need to cancel every single cent of student debt,” Bandt said.
You shouldn’t leave TAFE or Uni with a loan that will take a lifetime to pay off.
We need to cancel every single cent of student debt.
— Adam Bandt (@AdamBandt) March 23, 2022
The party said the policy could be funded by repealing the proposed Stage 3 Tax Cuts presented by the Parliamentary Budget Office in 2024-2025.
The Australian Institute reported the cuts would mean people earning more than $200,000 (JFC, that’s a lot of money) would pay $9075 less on tax. But middle-income earners would pay $1080 more in tax and those earning less than $45,000 would save nothing.
It’s not at all surprising where us young people sit on that spectrum. But both major parties allegedly support the proposed tax cut.
The Greens said it plans to also reverse the Liberals’ cuts to education and boost university funding by 10 percent. It claimed that the extra funding would increase job security on campuses and democratise an industry that’s gradually become less government-funded.
“Higher education needs to be rebuilt from the ground up based on principles of democracy and equity where staff and students have the best teaching and learning conditions. Nothing less will suffice,” Faruqi said.
“The Greens will ensure free education for everyone, whether you are leaving school, changing careers, retraining later in life, or looking to gain new skills and knowledge. Education is a right, not a privilege reserved for just those who can afford to pay for it.”
Good news for you, your bank account, your big brain that loves to learn and your dream to go on a solo trip around Europe before 30.