The Gillard Government has spent $700,000 advertising its own backflip on Youth Allowance rules for regional students, including radio commercials in Arabic, Italian and Cantonese, officials confirmed this week in Senate Estimates to Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Education, Senator Fiona Nash.
“Taxpayers will be rightly annoyed that the government has spent $700,000 of their money advertising a backflip to an unfair policy it should never have implemented in the first place,” Senator Nash said.
“If you’re a higher education student, English is pretty much a must, so running these radio ads across regional Australia in Italian, Arabic and Cantonese seems extraordinary.”
“The officials in Senate Estimates were unable to answer many of my questions and even the Minister sitting with them admitted he had no idea about the multilingual advertising.”
Senator Nash said even the content of the English ads was questionable with crass slogans including ‘more kitty for veterinarian students’ and ‘extra, extra! for journalism students’.
“A more effective radio ad would have Julia Gillard saying she is very sorry she had been ripping regional students off for two years, the Coalition has convinced her of the error of her ways, and she has now done a partial backflip.”
“But then again would anybody believe her?”
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