Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Defend 457 visa holders: No $4000 fee for education!

Dean Keating and Stef Hayward from the "457s in Oz" group speak out alongside Alex Bainbridge from the Socialist Alliance against the Barnett government's attempt to impose education fees on the children of 457 visa holders.

Read Green Left Weekly on the attacks on 457 visa holders:

"One of the most harmful stings in the budget is a new fee of $4000 a year for each primary or secondary school student whose parents hold 457 visas. A family with five children would be expected to pay $20,000 a year for public education.

"This policy comprises three main attacks on workers' rights. It is an attack on a relatively weak section of the workforce, an attempt to increase the divisions between workers with and without residency rights, and likely a "thin end of the wedge" against the whole population. If a fee of $4000 can be normalised for workers on 457 visas it would be easier to extend that fee to everyone later on."
From: www.greenleft.org.au/node/54888

"Another attack on education (and workers' rights more broadly) is the threat to charge a $4000 annual fee per student for children of workers on 457 visas. One effect of this policy will be to drive these workers to send their children to private schools, thereby undermining state education as a whole.

"This policy also ignores the fact that workers on 457 visas pay tax while they are in Australia and deserve full access to the range of social services, including education, that are available to all members of the community.

"The blatant injustice of this policy has resulted in a lot of criticism and pressure on the government. It is trying to find a way to moderate some aspects of the policy without abandoning it.

"The $4000 charge on only a section of the community is a blatant attempt at "divide and rule". It is important that the union movement as a whole defends the rights of these workers by opposing this fee as an integral part of the campaign to defend education."
from: www.greenleft.org.au/node/54948