Tony Abbott and Christopher Pyne should not be surprised by today’s Fairfax/Ipsos poll, which shows that Australians know deregulation of university fees will trash the fair go they rightly expect.
The poll, in which a massive 64 per cent of respondents opposed uncapped fees, merely confirms what Labor has been saying since the Abbott Government announced its higher education changes in the May Budget.
“Access to a quality education is the key to equality of opportunity,” Shadow Higher Education Minister Kim Carr said. “Getting a place at university should not depend on your parents’ bank account or your postcode.”
“The Abbott Government’s plan for a 20 per cent average cut to funding of undergraduate teaching, uncapped fees and indexing HELP repayments at the bond rate will create crippling debt and the prospect of $100,000 degrees.”
“That will only serve to exclude many Australians who would otherwise aspire to higher education.”
“Labor’s new online student debt sentence calculator makes clear just how much the debt burden will rise for most degrees.”
“Labor knows that it’s morally wrong to slash funding for universities and load up Australian students and families with more debt to pay for it – and so do the Australian people.”
“Ordinary Australians are objecting to $100,000 degrees and crippling debts because they know the Abbott’s Government’s plan is bad for students and bad for the country.”
Senator Carr said reports that Christopher Pyne is considering delaying or amending the higher education legislation to win cross-bench support for the bill show the Minister has learned nothing.
“Labor will continue to fight this package every step of the way because it is rotten to the core. Tinkering at the edges won’t change that,” he said.
“The Minister should scrap his plans and go back to the drawing board.”
MONDAY, 3 NOVEMBER 2014