SRC President’s Report – Week 10, Sem 1, 2018

Imogen Grant

Last Tuesday the Government released the Federal Budget. The Turnbull Government’s budget does the bidding of big business and wealthy while leaving young people behind to face worsening employment, poverty and homelessness.

The budget is nothing more than a short-term political strategy to suit the election cycle, and young people are left out as they are not a prime Liberal voter base. This has been a baby boomer budget which has locked young people out of Australia’s future.
As Sally McManus from the ACTU points out, “buried in the budget papers is a plan to have people on $41,000 a year in the same tax bracket as people earning $200,000 from 2024.” ScoMo’s tax cuts will drastically reduce the progressive nature of our income tax system, which will increase inequality. The tax cuts will flow overwhelmingly to high-income earners with more than 60 percent going to the top 20 percent and 40 percent going to the top 10 percent of taxpayers.

Let’s not be fooled. The reality of “small government” is fewer vital services. The budget fails to properly finance a needs-based program for our schools, universities, NDIS and other forms of social security.

We are facing a student poverty crisis. This generation will be the first priced out of the housing market, underemployment is rife and we’ve seen low wage growth for decades. 11,000 students are homeless and two thirds of students live below the poverty line.
Meanwhile, retail workers earning $600 per week have lost up to $80 per week due to the cuts to Sunday penalty rates. Scott Morrison’s $3.76 per week tax cut to those same workers does nothing to address the structural issues around inequality and stagnating wages.

The Government has been decimating our education for years by cutting billions in funding and increasing our fees. Right now the Liberals are planning to pass legislation that will condemn low-income graduates to pay back their student loans barely earning above minimum wage. They are seeking further budget repairs from those who can least afford it.

Next Tuesday the Education Action Group (EAG) will be having a speak out and stall on Eastern Avenue to talk to students about how the budget affects you! See you there!

Feel free to email me at president@src.usyd.edu.au if you have any concerns or wish to get involved with the SRC. If you are experiencing any academic, personal or legal issues and wish to seek the advice of an SRC caseworker or solicitor, contact us at 9660 5222 or help@src.usyd.edu.au.