Fears of huge cuts to university funding have been confirmed today with the release of the Turnbull Government’s mid-year economic statement, MYEFO.
Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon said the newly revealed $2.2 billion in cuts to university funding would hit the University of Newcastle hard.
“MYEFO confirmed our worst fears with a freeze on the Commonwealth Grants scheme, a cap on university places and a dramatic drop in the repayment threshold for HECS to $45,000,” Ms Claydon said.
“This is bad news for students, back news for families and bad news for our community.”
Ms Claydon said the Government had ignored the clear will of the Senate by seeking cuts that don’t require parliamentary approval.
“The Senate rejected the Turnbull Government’s plan to cut billions from Australian universities in no uncertain terms, so now they’re trying to pull off an appalling heist through the back door,” Ms Claydon said.
“It’s sneaky, it’s mean and it’s economically reckless to cut from universities at the very time we need to bolster our national skills and intellectual capacity. When you hit universities, you hit productivity, which will ultimately hurt economic growth.”
Ms Claydon said the cuts also reinforced the Turnbull Government’s ‘appalling priorities’.
“The Government is pilfering from students and universities to fund their tax cuts for big business and the top 2% of income earners,” Ms Claydon said.