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MEDIA RELEASE: Student loan fee is a tax on opportunity, says CAPA

16 Oct 19

Student loan fee is a tax on opportunity, says CAPA

The Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (CAPA) is disappointed that the Government, with Opposition support, has passed legislation ripping funding from universities offering student loans.

The legislation, which passed yesterday, imposes an annual tax on higher education providers whose students access student loans. The $11.7 million which will be charged to providers is in addition to severe cuts to the student loans system which were passed last year. These changes included the introduction of a borrowing cap which does not accommodate escalating course costs, meaning tens of thousands of postgraduate students must pay tuition fees upfront; and the retroactive lowering of the income repayment threshold for student loans.

While the tax is to be levied against higher education providers rather than students directly, it is inevitable that students will feel the impact of this cut, through a reduction in services or quality of education.

“This represents another crack in the foundations of a higher education system that is dangerously close to toppling over,” says CAPA National President, Natasha Abrahams.

“A fee to access student loans sends the message that higher education is only for those who can afford it, continuing the Government’s pattern of attacks on university students so they can fund unnecessary tax cuts to the rich. This is a tax on opportunity which has been legislated with bipartisan support.”

We commend the Australian Greens for their opposition to this legislation and their recognition that this is one of many measures to gradually dismantle the student loans system.
For comment:
CAPA National President Natasha Abrahams
M: 0430 076 993