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Labor-Coalition deal cuts more than $400 million from student support

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 2 Oct 2014

The Greens have condemned Labor’s deal to support more than $400 million in cuts to student support as a slap in the face to students who trusted Bill Shorten’s recent pledge to block higher education changes.

Labor and the Coalition waived through the cuts in the House of Representatives this morning.

“On 11 August, Mr Shorten signed a public pledge which stated “I, Bill Shorten, pledge that the ALP will block proposed changes to higher education in the senate,” said Greens spokesperson for higher education Senator Lee Rhiannon.

“Today the ALP supported the Coalition’s $400 million cuts to student welfare.

“The largest component of these cuts will remove access to relocation scholarships for students whose parents live in a major city, including Wollongong, Newcastle, the Gold Coast, Geelong and the Central Coast.

“For many students this scholarship payment has made a difference in terms of their ability to move to university and get established.

“The numerous Labor MPs that have spoken at rallies, meetings, universities and in Parliament about how disgraceful the Coalition’s higher education reforms are now have serious questions to answer about the dirty deal they have cut with Tony Abbott,” said Senator Rhiannon.

The cuts, which can be found in the Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (2014 Budget Measures No. 6) Bill 2014 are as follows:

·        

Remove relocation scholarship assistance for certain students - $290 million

·        

Limit the six-week portability period for student payments - $143 million

Total - $433 million in cuts

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