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The Greens Will Clear All Student Loan Debt If They Win Balance Of Power In Federal Election

Rachel Lang

Published 

The Greens Will Clear All Student Loan Debt If They Win Balance Of Power In Federal Election

The Greens have dropped a policy that vows to wipe all student loan debt if they win the balance of power at the federal election this year.

Anyone with a debt from studying, both current students or otherwise, will have their loan balance cleared under the program.

Education spokesperson Mehreen Faruqi said it will help future generations immensely.

"Student debt should not be an added burden on people who are already struggling, especially after the impacts of the pandemic," she said.

University fees were previously abolished in 1974 by the Whitlam Labor Government in the hope that all Australians would have access to tertiary study on the basis of merit rather than wealth.

The move was axed in the mid-1980s, with both major parties deciding the concept of 'free' tertiary education in Australia was untenable due to the increasing participation rate.

"Many current MPs, including the Prime Minister, went to university when it was free, but now students are being saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in study debt that often takes decades to repay," Faruqi said.

In 2020-21, the average student debt in Australia was $23,685. The total value of HELP debt in 2020 was $66.6billion.

But that isn't the only policy the Greens had to share.

They also want to make childcare and school free for Aussies, a move that will be very attractive to parents as childcare costs continue to cripple Aussie families.

"It doesn't matter where you live, how much you work, how much you study, or how much you earn, all children should have the right and access to quality early learning and care," Faruqi said.

"Too often, women have to give up work and career opportunities because childcare is too expensive or not available."

The Greens have revealed they will be able to pay for these projects by levying new taxes on the wealthy and big businesses and by increasing Australia's public debt.

The Greens have proposed a billionaires' tax which takes six per cent of wealth from anyone with a net worth of more than $1 billion.

They also want to implement a Corporate Super-Profits Tax, which applies a 40 per cent tax to companies with revenue over $100 million a year.

The Greens hold only one seat in the House of Representatives but are targeting more at the May election.

Labor has insisted it will not form a Coalition with the Greens if it fails to win a majority, which means there is a slim chance of the policies ever coming to fruition.

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese has already pledged to fund up to 20,000 extra university places and 465,000 free TAFE places - but has revealed no policy on student debt.

Featured Image Credit: Зоя Куренкова/Alamy Stock Photo. Richard Milnes/Alamy Stock Photo.

Topics: Australia

Rachel Lang
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