Concerns were voiced in parliament last week about the impact the federal budget would youth in regional areas.MONIQUE FREER May 21, 2014 3:35am
Concerns were aired in parliament last week about the impact the federal budget would have on young people in regional areas.
Federal Member for Indi Cathy McGowan spoke in parliament on Thursday, questioning Treasurer Joe Hockey about the impact the Work For the Dole scheme would have on youth in regional Victoria.
She told the Ensign last week the increase of the eligibility age for the dole (Newstart) from 22 to 25 years, and the introduction of a six-month waiting period for those under 30, would have negative impacts across the Indi electorate.
From January 1 next year, those subject to the new system will have to wait six months and then work for the dole for another six months before either getting a job, or getting cut off again for another six months.
‘‘New social security policies for young people will put more pressure and stress on young people who aren’t earning an income and have few job or skills-training options,’’ Ms McGowan said.
‘‘Youth unemployment is high and education options are few in Wodonga, Wangaratta and Benalla and small country towns. I am concerned that these new welfare policies will be difficult to implement in my electorate.’’
Those under 25 will be put on the Youth Allowance and paid at a lower rate.
Furthermore, the federal budget also revealed changes that will allow universities to set their own tuition fees from 2016.
With a regional campus in Shepparton, La Trobe University student union president Rose Steele said this would further disadvantage regional students hit with relocation costs when attending university.
‘‘The proposed changes will push students who already struggle to make ends meet into a lifetime of debt,’’ Ms Steele said.
‘‘For many students these changes will create an ultimatum of whether to study or work.’’
Ms Steele said the proposed budget changes would exacerbate the challenges of young people in rural and regional areas, further decreasing access.
‘‘Students are already facing a decade worth of debt from studying at university,’’ she said.
‘‘The detriment of this will be felt by generations of students to come, who will find education completely inaccessible.
‘‘The government are gambling the future of Australia without a care for quality or equity.’’
Students already studying will not be affected until the end of 2020, and one fifth of the additional revenue will be used to fund scholarships to those from disadvantaged backgrounds who want to attend university.
At the other end of the spectrum the pension eligibility age was increased to 70 by 2035, and will increase by six months every two years in line with inflation from 2017.
Senator for Victoria Bridget McKenzie said this was in line with Australia’s ageing population.
‘‘That is why we are raising the age pension age to 70 — but not for two decades; providing payments up to $10
Ms McGowan will travel around the electorate in the coming week to host listening posts for community feedback about the budget. Ms McGowan will be in Benalla, outside Mitchell Health Care, Bridge St, from 10.30
Shepparton’s Declo Bisimwa firmly believes education is the key to a better life.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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