Democrats welcome farm help

THE Australian Democrats have welcomed some of the initiatives outlined in the Federal Budget aimed towards farming families.

Democrats Higher Education and Youth Affairs spokesman Natasha Stott Despoja said she “was pleased the Government was keeping their 1996 election promise to farming families.”

In line with the Coalition’s 1996 higher education election policy, 75 per cent of farm and small business assets will be exempt from the Youth Allowance.

“This is a long overdue victory for farming families; it is a victory for the Democrats’ and the National Farmers Federation’s perseverance on this issue,” Ms Stott Despoja said.

“The exemption of the farm assets will help thousands of rural Australians who have in the past been denied access to Youth Allowance simply because they happen to come from farming families.

“These are families who are asset rich but income poor – who may have a lot of equipment but are struggling to put food on the table, let alone study.

“That will be cold comfort for families with members aged over twenty-five who wish to pursue an education,” she said.

The Government would have broken their promise if it wasn’t for the Democrats, she said.

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