The Labor government has lodged a formal complaint about the Abbott government’s advertising campaign on higher education.
The Abbott government’s advertising campaign on higher education contains “demonstrably untrue” claims about funding levels after deregulation, Labor has alleged in an official complaint.
The campaign, launched on Sunday, seeks to allay the misconception that the higher education contribution scheme (Hecs) is being abolished under changes yet to pass parliament, and says the federal government “will continue to pay around half your undergraduate degree”.
Labor argues this claim breaches the guidelines on taxpayer-funded advertising which require that “where information is presented as a fact it should be accurate and verifiable”.
In a letter to be sent to the finance department secretary on Tuesday, Labor’s higher education spokesman, Kim Carr, says the government’s legislation reduces commonwealth funding by 20% on average, removes limits on the tuition fees universities can charge and contains no mechanism to ensure an equal cost-sharing arrangement.
“In fact, publicly available evidence to date suggests that should the bill be passed, the cost burden will shift dramatically with students bearing up to 90% of the cost of degrees and the commonwealth contribution falling as low as 10%,” Carr writes.
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