Fri. May 24th, 2024

$3 billion worth of HECS debts to be wiped out for millions of Australians

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell May15,2024
More than three million Australians will have their student debt wiped in a bid to win over younger voters crushed by the cost of living crisis.
Education Minister Jason Clare on Sunday announced the government would cap the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) indexation rate, eliminating about $3 billion of student debt.
The capped rate would ensure indexation matched either the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or Wage Price Index (WPI) — whichever was lower —
QUESTION TIME

About $3 billion in student debt will be wiped for some three million Australians, Jason Clare says. Source: AAP / Lukas Coch

The was based on CPI, whereas under WPI, the debt spike would have only been 3.2 per cent.

The government said it would backdate the change — which formed part of the May federal budget — to student loans from 1 June 2023.

“This will wipe out around $3 billion in student debt from more than three million Australians,” Clare said in a statement.

“The Universities Accord recommended indexing HELP loans to whatever is lower out of CPI and WPI.

AUSTRALIAN UNIVERSITIES RANKING

The federal government says it will backdate the change to student loans from 1 June 2023. Credit: Dean Lewins/AAP

“We are doing this, and going further.”

All HELP debts that were indexed in 2023 and would be subject to indexation on 1 June 2024, would get an indexation credit, the government said.

A person with an average HELP debt of $26,500 would have about $1200 cut from their outstanding loans this year under the change, pending legislation passing.

Graph showing the amount of

Australians have incurred a total student debt of over $100 billion, according to the Australian Taxation Office. Credit: SBS News

The credit for someone with $130,000 in student debt would be almost $5900.

Deputy Liberal leader Sussan Ley said she found the suggestion students who weren’t already paying back debt wouldn’t be worried about increases “really insulting”.

A graphic depicting how long it takes the average person to pay off HELP debts

Source: SBS News

“They’re actually anxious when they see their student debt go up … they still see that amount going up and it’s quite scary for them and they know that it’s looming over them,” she told Sky News on Sunday.

“I don’t think students will feel particularly warm and welcoming of this announcement.”

The backdated change would apply to Australians with HELP debt, VET Student Loans, Australian Apprenticeship Support Loans and other student loans that existed on 1 June, the government said.

“By backdating this reform to last year, we’re making sure that apprentices, trainees and students affected by last year’s jump in indexation get this important cost-of-living relief,” Skills and Training Minister Brendan O’Connor said in a statement.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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One thought on “$3 billion worth of HECS debts to be wiped out for millions of Australians”
  1. Isn’t this an incredible relief for the three million Australians burdened by student debt? How will this impact the country’s economy in the long run?

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