Thursday, 30 October 2014
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer to the modelling by NATSEM, an organisation described by the Prime Minister as the most reputable modelling organisation in Australia, which shows that under the Prime Minister's unfair university changes a young man studying to be a social worker would pay almost $335,000 for his degree and take 39 years to repay his HELP debt. Why does the Prime Minister want to saddle millions of Australian students with a debt sentence?
Under the policies of members opposite, people have a $25,000 debt before they even get to university. A debt sentence is what the former government saddled every single Australian with—
Ms Owens interjecting—
On the subject of universities and students, let me make it absolutely crystal clear: no student will pay $1 upfront, all fees will be covered by HECS or FEE-HELP, no-one will have to repay any of this until their income exceeds $50,000 and fully 50 per cent of the cost of their university education will be covered by the taxpayer. Only 40 per cent of the population go to university. On average they earn 60 per cent more income over their lifetime than the rest of us. It is only fair and reasonable—
Ms Claydon interjecting—
that we free up universities in this way. It will be a better system for universities, it will be a better system for students and it will be a better system for our country.
Opposition members interjecting—