Brutally honest moment Gen Z uni dropout stuns Q&A panel by revealing the grim reality facing millions of young people – as a top economist blames government’s irresponsible Covid spending for the crisis
- Woman admits she cant afford to study and eat
- Bella Mitchell-Sears wants to teach but needs to work
- Stunned Q+A panel has no answers for her
A university drop-out in her early 20s has revealed the brutal choice many younger Australians are being forced to make – study or put food on the table.
Bella Mitchell-Sears stunned Monday night’s Q+A panel on the ABC with the revelation that her living costs shot up so much she had to quit her university degree.
Ms Mitchell-Sears was studying an arts degree at the University of Melbourne with the dream of becoming a teacher but is now losing hope.
‘I’ve been forced into a position of putting my education on hold because I need to work fulltime to support myself,’ Ms Mitchell-Sears said.
‘My bills continue to rise, owning a home just seems like a pipedream and it doesn’t look like it will get any better.
‘What would you say to me and other young people in my position, and why must I decide between getting an education and putting food on the table?’
Everything from fuel, to groceries and electricity bills have been dramatically rising since the end of the Covid pandemic, with inflation surging to a 30-year high of 7.8 per cent.
The spiralling cost of living crisis has also forced the Reserve Bank to rapidly increase the cash rate to bring down inflation, with renters and mortgage holders slugged with 10 consecutive hikes compounding the economic pain.
Ms Mitchell-Sears said the problems facing students began when her university fees more doubled in 2020.
‘I can’t afford to go to uni, but once I finally somehow do get the money to do it, I then, I am in $50,000 worth of debt. I don’t know how to escape this.
‘There is such a call for teachers, yet it seems impossible for me to achieve that. I don’t know how to escape this.’
The panel, including Federal Labor MP Josh Burns; Perin Davey, deputy leader of the Nationals had few answers beyond wishing Ms Mitchell-Sears good luck and taking shots at each other’s parties.
Economist Gigi Foster blamed high cost of living pressures squarely at the feet of government’s ‘mismanagement of the economy’ during the pandemic.
Scott Morrison’s Liberal Party government handed out more than $300billion though it’s Covid stimulus packages during the health crisis.
‘We have spent hugely as I said previously, for little return and on things that were never really predicted to have much of a return,’ she said.
‘It was a religious expenditure.’
‘The Covid problem was dealt with so poorly now, that we have created an inflationary environment where house prices are going up and so are food prices.’
Victorian woman Bella Mitchell-Sears stunned Monday night’s Q+A panel on the ABC with the revelation that her living costs are so high she had to quit her university degree.
Economist Gigi Foster blamed high cost of living pressures squarely on government ‘mismanagement of the economy’ during the pandemic
British singer-songwriter Billy Bragg said he was fortunate to have gone on the dole while becoming a musician
Fellow panelist British singer-songwriter Billy Bragg offered a shocking contrast between the students of today and those of his generation.
‘I was very fortunate. I lived in a time when you could go on the dole and no-one chased you,’ he said.
‘The British taxpayer paid for my apprenticeship as a rock and roller.
‘I have paid my way back. Many more could do that if we encourage our young people to realise their full potential.’