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Students slugged by 8% textbook hike.



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Senator Natasha Stott Despoja Australian Democrats Spokesperson for Higher Education 22 February 2004 MEDIA RELEASE 04/097

http://www.democrats.org.au/

Students slugged by 8% textbook hike

From July this year, students and their families will face an 8% increase in the price of their textbooks if the Educational Textbook Subsidy Scheme is not extended, according to Australian Democrats’ Higher Education spokesperson, Senator Natasha Stott Despoja.

“This hike in book prices will hit students hard,” said Senator Stott Despoja.

“Already, many students can not afford all their textbooks, and this increase will price some students out of education.

“Combined with increasing course costs and fees, students and their families are suffering.

Senator Stott Despoja has introduced a Private Members’ Bill to ensure that the Educational Textbook Subsidy Scheme is maintained.

“I will be applying pressure to the other Parties to ensure support for this Scheme,” said Senator Stott Despoja.

“A tax on books is a tax on knowledge. It is an irresponsible and punishing tax. That's why I voted against the GST on books.

“At the very least, textbooks - as an essential component of education - must remain GST free.

“We will not let up our pressure on this Government.

“Books should never have been taxed, and we have seen the impact the GST on books has had on the book industry.

“The Government's decision to discontinue this Scheme is insidious and a particularly nasty one in an election year,” concluded Senator Stott Despoja.

Senator Stott Despoja’s Private Members’ Bill, the Textbook Subsidy Bill 2003, is available at http://parlinfoweb.aph.gov.au/parlinfo/Repository/Legis/Bills/Linked/18060302.pdf

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