OTTAWA, Sept. 8, 2015 /CNW/ - An increase of federal contributions for the Canada Education Savings Grants Program, announced today by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, has been oversold to Canadian electors. This change will not affect the lifetime maximum grant RESP holders qualify for: it will only allow some families to reach it faster.
"The RESP program is already inaccessible to most middle and low-income families and this supposed increase will not make post-secondary education more accessible." said Bilan Arte, National Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. "All students deserve access to high quality public post-secondary education regardless of their family income."
The government's own reports have found that previous increases to federal CESG contributions have done little to increase accessibility to post-secondary education for low-income families.
A report released by the Canadian Federation of Students earlier this year outlined a cost-neutral strategy to better organise student financial assistance, providing immediate relief to hundreds of thousands of students. By reallocating funding from ineffective tax credits and savings schemes to the Canada Student Grants Program, the federal government could eliminate all federal student loans within 15 years.
"Today's announcement reinforces the need for a more effective student financial assistance programme," said Arte. "Students will be taking to the polls this October, and we urge federal leaders to prioritize post-secondary education in more meaningful ways."
The reports, titled Student Financial Assistance in Canada: Complicated, Inefficient and Ineffective is available at http://cfs-fcee.ca/research-policy/policy-papers-and-submissions/
The Canadian Federation of Students is Canada's largest student organisation, uniting more than one-half million students across Canada. The Canadian Federation of Students and its predecessor organisations have represented students in Canada since 1927.
SOURCE Canadian Federation of Students
For further information: Sarah McCue, Communications Coordinator at 613-232-7394 or [email protected]