If the Australian Greens win the balance of power in the next federal election, they have promised to erase student debt.
Mehreen Faruqi, the Greens’ education spokesman, will lead a movement to eliminate student debt on Thursday, saying that it would be more beneficial than the stage three tax cuts approved by both main political parties.
The minor party claims that cancelling student loan debts is a less expensive and more equitable way to relieve cost-of-living pressures, which have been aggravated by the pandemic and turmoil in Ukraine, which have driven up commodities costs.
According to the Parliamentary Budget Office, the elimination of student debt will benefit younger people more than stage three tax cuts.
The data also reveals that the advantages of the third tax cut lean towards higher-income people.
Senator Faruqi stated that the COVID-19 pandemic had a greater financial impact on young people, particularly women.
“Student debt should not be an added burden on people who are already struggling, especially after the impacts of the pandemic,” she said.
“Many current MPs, including the Prime Minister, went to university when it was free, but now students are being saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in study debt that often takes decades to repay.”
The third level of tax reduction will simplify Australia’s progressive tax system.
By 2024, all income earners with wages between $45,000 and $200,000 would pay 30%, and the 37 cents per dollar tax on those earning more than $120,000 will be abolished.
Both major parties, according to Greens leader Adam Bandt, are attempting to dismantle the country’s taxation structure.
“With housing through the roof and wages low, wiping student debt will make a real difference to people,” Mr Bandt said.
“Liberal and Labor both want to end Australia’s progressive tax system with tax cuts for the wealthy, but in balance of power the Greens will kick Scott Morrison out and push the next government to wipe student debt instead.”