Media Release                                                            9 May, 2017

Youth are among the biggest losers of the 2017-18 federal budget, thanks to rising exclusion from higher education, housing and jobs, the St Vincent de Paul Society says.

There is nothing fair about slashing university funding while raising student fees and requiring graduates to pay back loans sooner, Dr John Falzon, CEO at the St Vincent de Paul Society National Council said.

“Young people need access to higher education. Not fee increases and funding cuts.”

At the same time, the budget delivers poor support for those locked out of the job market.

“There is only one job for every 10 people looking for work or more work,” Dr Falzon said.

“One in three young people are unemployed or underemployed.

“We have a Newstart payment that has not seen an increase in real terms since 1994.

“And yet the government is attempting to make an art-form out of cruelty to young unemployed people.”

Those with weekend work are looking down the barrel of their penalty rates being cut, meanwhile large corporations are not paying their fair share of tax.

“While there has been some movement in the area of social and affordable housing, without significant changes to negative gearing and capital gains discounts, housing will remain a speculative sport instead of a human right,” Dr Falzon said.

“We longed for a carefully considered vision. But tonight we were served a buffet of tactics.

“We yearned for hope. But young people, along with older people have been pushed out, have been given yet another serve of deliberate humiliation.”


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