Life about to get harder for Ballarat mum and uni student

Sam Hambook has to juggle her university studies with raising two young children. PICTURE: LACHLAN BENCE

Sam Hambook has to juggle her university studies with raising two young children. PICTURE: LACHLAN BENCE

SINGLE mother and university student Sam Hambook believes Tuesday’s federal budget will hurt the people already doing it toughest.

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Ms Hambook juggles a bachelor of arts degree in rural social welfare at Federation University with her responsibilities as a single mum to a five- and six-year-old.

But changes to Family Tax Benefit Part B – which will be cut for families when their youngest child turns six – could have serious consequences for the 23-year-old in coming years.

“That will affect me because I’ve only just started my degree,” Ms Hambrook said.

“In my second year I’ll have to be at university and working if we need it to get by.

“I’m one term in and the work is pretty hard - add a job onto that, plus kids, and it’s pretty crazy.”

The Sebastopol resident said young people, families and the elderly would be worse off under many of the changes.

"I’m one term in and the work is pretty hard - add a job onto that, plus kids, and it’s pretty crazy"

She said $7 GP visits would probably stop some people from visiting the doctor and would create an impost on young families, while raising the price of petrol would hurt low-income earners the most.

“I drive to university every day and do school runs,” Ms Hambrook said.

“No one needs petrol going up any more.”

Ms Hambrook worried about the long-term consequences for families if they were forced into short-term work to get by, at the expense of building a career.

“I could go to work now and we could live very comfortably, or we could get by for the next three years and have a long-term plan ,” Ms Hambook said

“Look at the long term, which is why they should be putting more into education.”

Ms Hambook also described the prospect of higher, deregulated fees for university students as a measure that would make it “harder for people to get their qualifications”.

rachel.afflick@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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