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2014/2015 Federal Budget

Statement from the 2014 Secretary:

Last year’s federal budget will have a direct and negative impact on students.

Money ripped out of the higher education sector and from student welfare is an attack on students and the University of Melbourne Student Union condemns this budget.

The proposed deregulation of student fees will decrease access to education, ensuring only those who can afford to pay with have the opportunity to learn. Compounded with changes to the HELP student loan scheme, students will be paying up to 6% interest, up from 2.9% and are required to repay their debt as soon as minimum wage is earned. UMSU condemns these changes as they will have a real and lasting affect on students’ ability to access education, and will leave students burdened with debt for years into full employment.

Replacing Newstart payments with Youth Allowance, and enforcing a six month wait before receiving the dole will leave students in great financial difficulty when they are unable to find work. Students with a disability will also be hit with changes to disability support. UMSU condemns changes to student welfare as it will leave thousands of students in financial difficulty and make tertiary education far less viable for many.

Samuel Donnelly
2014 UMSU Secretary