Malcolm Turnbull must use tomorrow’s Council of Australian Government (COAG) meeting to rule out a 15 per cent GST on higher education.


Australian students and their families have every right to be worried about what their future will hold with the Liberals’ plan for $100,000 degrees still on the table and now the prospect of a 15 per cent GST on everything. 


Independent modelling from the Parliamentary Budget Office estimates students and families will be forced to pay $7.4 billion extra on education, including higher education, in the first year of Malcolm Turnbull’s 15 per cent GST on everything.

Over ten years, this reaches $94 billion extra being paid by families on education alone. 

Malcolm Turnbull needs to come clean with the Australian students about how much a university education is going to cost.

Anything less is evidence of the contempt with which the Abbott-Turnbull Government treats Australia’s higher education sector.

Australian students will be hit hard if Malcolm Turnbull gets his way and slugs a 15 per cent GST on everything.

Under Malcolm Turnbull’s 15 per cent GST, students will be paying more for books, computers, transport, rent as well as course fees that are projected to double or treble under deregulation.

Australian students are acutely sensitive to cost of living pressures with many juggling full-time study and work in an attempt to make ends meet.

Mission Australia’s 2015 Youth Survey Report shows many young people citing financial difficulties as a barrier to academic success.

It is still Malcolm Turnbull’s plan to rip more than $5 billion out of Australian universities, and burden students with $100,000 degrees, with these measures remaining in the Budget papers. 

While Malcolm Turnbull plots his 15 per cent GST on higher education, Labor has been hard at work in our year of ideas designing a positive plan for universities that restores funding certainty.

Only Labor has a positive, GST-free plan for Australian universities and students, including:

  • Increase the number of students completing their study by 20,000 graduates a year from 2020.

  • Introduce a new Student Funding Guarantee to remove the need for higher fees and a lifetime of debt.

  • Deliver more information for parents and students so they can make good decisions about university.

  • Invest $31 million to boost the quality of teaching and resources  in our universities.

  • Establish an independent Higher Education Productivity and Performance Commission to ensure graduates meet the needs of the future economy.

  • Create a Startup Year at universities so students can develop their idea, get business knowhow and connect with finance.

  • Wiping student debt for up to 100,000 young people who graduate from science, technology, engineering and mathematics at university, especially women.

  • Introducing 25,000 teaching scholarships for highly skilled STEM graduates to go on to teach in our schools.

  • Developing a National Digital Workforce Plan to tackle the crippling digital skills shortages confronting the country. 

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