Federal budget fails to address student debt crisis

OTTAWA, March 21, 2013 /CNW/ - Today's budget takes no steps to make post-secondary education affordable for Canadians despite record levels of student debt.

"Continuing to download the cost of post-secondary education onto students is a short-sighted policy that will harm Canada's economic recovery," said Adam Awad, National Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. "The 2013 budget is not an economic action plan for students and recent graduates."

Despite widespread public concern about steadily declining affordability of post-secondary education, the federal budget fails to address the student debt crisis. If the current trend continues, student debt is expected to surpass $19 billion before 2016. At the same time, the federal government has written off over $700 million in unpaid student loans in the last three years. The 2013 budget contains no new student financial assistance measures to address the increasing student debt loads burdening students and their families.

"Canada should be addressing skills shortages by reducing the up-front costs of post-secondary education and training programs," added Awad. "Reallocating wasteful investments in tax credits and savings schemes into upfront grants for students would greatly improve Canada's labour market by increasing access to the skills training required for global competitiveness."

The Canadian Federation of Students is Canada's largest student organisation, uniting more that one-half million students in all ten provinces. The Federation and its predecessor organisations have represented students in Canada since 1927.

SOURCE: Canadian Federation of Students

For further information:

Adam Awad, National Chairperson, 613-979-6622 (cell), chair@cfs-fcee.ca


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