Great big new student tax

Christopher Pyne’s secret plan to tax university students is a desperate, last-minute attempt to have his unfair university package pass the Senate.

Mr Pyne has spent the last 12 months swearing black and blue that price gouging won’t happen under his plan for $100,000 degrees.

Now he is preparing a secret tax plan to stop something he said would never happen.  

This is proof that Australian students face $100,000 degrees under the Liberal Government’s plans.

Today’s reports show that this sneaky back door tax will see students slugged with an additional tax on top of their ever-growing debt as a result of the Government’s plan for $100,000 degrees.

The Government’s own policy adviser, Mr Andrew Norton, says the tax will cost $11,000 a year on a $30,000 university fee for a law student. High cost degrees such as science and engineering will attract much larger taxes.  

“Using the tax rates in Chapman’s submission, and a fee of $30,000 for a law student, we estimate a tax of more than $11,000 …”

Andrew Norton, Higher Education Program Director, Grattan Institute

Students will be hit by a tax on their fees before they even start making repayments on their HECS debt.

Despite costing students more, this backdoor tax will also impose further cuts on the university sector – going far beyond the 20 per cent already proposed in the Liberals’ short-sighted Budget.

This tax is not new, a similar proposal was rejected by the Conservative Government in the United Kingdom in 2010 for fear it would simply drive up fees and put more strain on the government’s loan scheme.  

as soon as universities raise their fee above the threshold level, they face a rapidly rising levy which can drive their fees up even higher in order to reach a given level of income.”

Hon David Willets, UK Minister for Universities, 2010

Christopher Pyne should listen to the experts.

And the Abbott Government should listen to the Australian public, who don’t want an Americanised higher education system or a back door student tax.

Mr Pyne’s secret tax plan would also create regulation headache for the 10,000 university courses operating at the moment, forcing Pyne to centralise control.  

While this Government is determined to price young Australians out of going to university, Labor remains committed to a fair, sustainable and high quality university system.

Wednesday 4 March 2015


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