The mid-year budget update has just been released by the Federal government and it is planning to hit past, present and future students where it hurts most; the hip pocket.
Currently students with a HECS/HELP debt don’t start repaying their loan until their taxable income reaches $55,874. MYEFO proposes to change the threshold to $45,000. This will be levied at tiered rates so if you are on the lower end of the scale you will be paying back your loan at 1% of earnings while at the top end you will be up for 10%.
The government will also be looking to withdraw $2b in funding to the sector. Part of this will be a proposal to put a cap on university places offered to students. While this is likely to drive up the cost of your degree, it could also lead to a higher standard of education by steering the sector into a more education-based and less business-based model.
There will be a lifetime limit set to the amount that students can borrow. Medicine, dentistry and veterinary students will have a limit of $150,000. For students of all other disciplines the limit will be $104,440.
Aside from education, new migrants will now have to wait longer for welfare payments. The waiting period will increase from 2 years currently to 3 years for Family Tax Benefit, Carers Allowance and Paid Parental Leave.