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Wednesday, 20 October 2010
Page: 866


Mr GARRETT (Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth) (9:32 AM) —I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

The Higher Education Support Amendment (FEE-HELP Loan Fee) Bill 2010 amends the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (the act) to implement the government’s decision to increase the loan fee from 20 per cent to 25 per cent for undergraduate courses.

The amendment will give effect to the recommendation of the Bradley Review of Australian Higher Education to increase the loan fee for FEE-HELP for fee paying undergraduate students to 25 per cent.

An increase in the loan fee will enable the government to recover more of the taxpayer subsidised cost of providing FEE-HELP loans.

Even with a five per cent increase in the loan fee, the conditions of the government’s FEE-HELP scheme continue to provide an extremely favourable income contingent loan for students.

Students do not have to start repaying their HELP loan until their income reaches the minimum repayment threshold of $44,912 (in 2010-11). If students do not repay their loan, the government meets the cost.

The majority of students will not be affected by this change which will impact only on undergraduate students who choose to use FEE-HELP for their tuition fees in a fee paying place.

I commend the bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr Andrews) adjourned.