WATCH: The New HECS Debt Plan Landed A Final Pre-Budget Grilling On ‘Q&A’

Only a matter of hours before the Federal Government’s full budget announcement, the Coalition’s plan to lower the HECS-HELP repayment income threshold to $42,000 was given some airtime on Q&A – and it wasn’t just young Australian students who stood in opposition to the proposal.
After being asked by a middle-aged woman why, exactly, the powers that be see it fit to institute policies which overwhelmingly provide for Baby Boomers but not for younger Australians, the panel immediately latched onto how student loans tie in with home ownership.

Danni Addison of the Urban Development Institute of Australia said “in light of proposed changes to HECS, makes [home ownership] a topic worth considering not only from a young person’s perspective, but from people… in any stage of life.”

“The reality for many young people… it’s not easy to save up for a first home, pay rent, and pay off your HECS debt. And if you’re doing all that on $42,000 a year, it’s a tough challenge,” Addison said.

After touching on the apparent need for young Aussies to rent for longer than their predecessors, the panel turned to focus on how the change could likely dissuade would-be students from seeking a tertiary education.

On that front, tax expert Mark Leibler – another older Australian – said “I think what the government is doing here in regards to HECS is totally counterproductive.”

In comparison to some other sectors the Coalition government has been seen to favour in living memory, Leibler said “the bottom line is, when it comes to universities, the value of the knowledge created by the universities is more than the mining sector.”

He closed off by saying “at the end of time, this is going to be counterproductive in that it’s actually going to destroy value in terms of Australia, overall.”


While you contemplate the fact that it’s not just you who is worried about the changes, watch this space for the full impact of the budget on your wallets, yeah?

Source and photo: Q&A / ABC.