Sunday, 4 May 2014

Those who benefit could pay...

I read this morning that our current education minister thinks that university graduates should pay for more of their education because they benefit considerably.

It seems that all the VCs agree that students need to pay more (or more likely they think that SOMEONE ought to pay more and think that students are the ones that the current government is most likely to look to).

I also read that it is possible that HELP (used to be called HECS) debt repayments might begin at 32,000 because the government needs them paid back or else something bad might happen.

Fee policy is not quite my field I'll admit, but I do think the HECS system (pretty much what we have) designed by 1980s Labor is excellent. I don't mind the idea that the people who benefit should share some of the cost. This is partly what prevents working class Australia from over-subsidising the education of the elite.

In fact, I think the education minister should think seriously about asking the people who benefit the most to contribute teh highest share.

If I was reforming the fee system, I'd start by adding a graduate tax to HECS aimed at the people who benefit from their education the most. Start it in a small way at (say) those university graduates earning more than $80,000 a year and increase it from there. Doing it this way rather than with the HELP debt would make sure those who benefit really are the ones who pay.

And really, how much does the government reckon they can squeeze out of graduates earning $32,000 and paying rent in Sydney? Doesn't sound like much of a solution to me...

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