Federal budget fails to deliver affordable education and training

OTTAWA, Feb. 11, 2014 /CNW/ - Despite better than expected revenue projections, today's federal budget does little to make post-secondary education affordable during a time of record student debt.

"Continuing to download the cost of post-secondary education onto students is a short-sighted policy that will harm Canada's economy," said Jessica McCormick, National Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. "The 2014 budget proposes no solutions to the looming student debt crisis and pays lip service to high youth unemployment."

The federal budget proposed no spending to alleviate the over $15 billion student debt carried by Canadian families, despite widespread public concern about steadily declining affordability of post-secondary education. With 384,000 young Canadians aged 20-29 unemployed in January 2014, high student debt levels exacerbate an already precarious situation for young Canadians. Budget 2014 attempts to tackle high youth unemployment levels by offering loans to apprentices and funds a mere 3,500 paid-internship opportunities for recent graduates. The 2014 budget contains no new student financial assistance measures to address the increasing student debt loads burdening students and their families.

"Budget 2014's solution to high youth unemployment is to shackle recent graduates and apprentices with even higher debt levels, while funding internships for less than 1% of Canada's currently unemployed youth," added McCormick. "Reallocating wasteful investments from education related tax credits and savings schemes into upfront grants for students would greatly improve Canada's labour market by increasing access to the skills training while reducing barriers to the education and training Canadians need."

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:

Sarah McCue, Media Liason, 613-979-6622 (cell), s.mccue@cfs-fcee.ca
Adam Awad, Media Liason, 613-979-6622 (cell), a.awad@cfs-fcee.ca

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