Controversial Green Senator wants Australia to pay off university students’ HECS debt instead of tax cuts for wealthy Australians
- Senator Mehreen Faruqi has called for Australia’s student debt to be cancelled
- Ms Faruqi recently caught a backlash over “insensitive” comments about the Queen
- She said money earmarked for Stage Three tax cuts could be put to better use
- Critics of the tax cuts, due in 2024, say they will largely favor the rich
- The Queen’s Funeral: All the news and coverage of the Royal Family
A Green Party senator has urged the Australian government to end student loans instead of spending billions on tax cuts for wealthy Australians.
The party’s deputy leader Mehreen Faruqi – who recently came under fire for an “appalling” tweet about the queen and imperialism – tweeted on Sunday that Australians were grappling with “skyrocketing” living and housing costs.
Senator Faruqi said, “It’s time to give people relief by paying off student debt.”
The tax cuts, set to take effect in 2024, are the third stage of a tax plan by the previous coalition government that critics say will cost up to $243 billion and mostly favor the wealthy.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has vowed to keep tax cuts – a campaign promise.
Senator Mehreen Faruqi (pictured) wants some of the money earmarked for Stage Three tax cuts due in 2024 to be used to pay down student debt instead
Critics like Ms. Faruqi say the tax cuts will favor the rich and increase inequality
The third stage tax cuts would eliminate an entire tax bracket and impose a flat tax rate of 30 cents on the dollar on workers earning between $40,000 and $200,000.
Senator Faruqi’s comments are part of a Green Party push to instead use the money to pay off the HECS and HELP debt of more than 2.9 million Australians at a reportedly lower cost of $60.7 billion over the next decade pay off
Ms. Faruqi claims that the tax cuts “will further entrench inequality” and that “we should cancel student debt to close the inequality gap.”
“Many current MPs, including the prime minister, went to university when it was free, but now students are saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in student debt that often takes decades to pay off,” she said.
“Eliminating all college debt will have a tremendous positive impact on millions of people who can afford to live better lives.”
The Greens refer to analyzes by the budget office of the Bundestag, according to which the tax cuts would benefit higher earners and, because of the gender pay gap, men.
A $72,235 worker would get a $681 tax cut and a $200,000 worker would get a $9,000 tax benefit, according to left-leaning think tank Australia Institute.
There are more than three million Australians with outstanding university debt (file image)
Senator Faruqi has been criticized for her comments after the Queen’s death earlier this month.
“Condolences to those who knew the Queen. I cannot mourn the leader of a racist empire built on stolen lives, lands and wealth from colonized peoples,” the senator tweeted.
“We are reminded of the urgency of the First Nations treaty, justice and reparations for British colonies, and becoming a republic.”
The tweet received hundreds of mixed comments and prompted One Nation leader Pauline Hanson to launch a racially charged attack on Ms Faruqi and tell her to return to Pakistan.
Senator Faruqi has signaled that she can complain to the Australian Human Rights Commission about this attack.
STAGE THREE TAX CUTS
* Remove the tax bracket from $120,000 to $180,000
* Increase the upper tax bracket threshold from $180,000 to $200,000
* Reduced the marginal tax rate for the $45,000-$200,000 tax bracket from 32.5% to 30%.
* The changes result in a flat tax rate of 30 cents per dollar for anyone earning between $40,000 and $200,000
* The tax cuts cost $243.5 billion
* Of this amount, 6 percent goes to the top 1 percent of earners and 77 percent to the top 25 percent.
Source: Parliament’s Budget Office
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11248791/Greens-senator-Mehreen-Faruqi-wants-student-loans-wiped-instead-stage-three-tax-cuts.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Green Party Senator Mehreen Faruqi wants the abolition of student loans instead of tax cuts in stage three