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Tuesday, 7 February 2017
Page: 199

Higher education reforms

(Question No. 612)


Ms Butler asked the Treasurer, in writing, on 10 November 2016

In respect of the 2016-17 budget papers estimate that the Government's stated position of not proceeding with full fee deregulation will give rise to savings of $2 billion, given there are no specific expenses associated with fee deregulation in the 2014-15 budget, on what basis has the $2 billion in savings been calculated.


Mr Morrison: The Treasurer has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

As part of the 2016-17 Budget, the Higher Education Reform - further consultation measure is the cost of delaying the higher education reforms announced in the 2014-15 Budget and the 2014-15 MYEFO by a year to allow for further consultation to occur.

The entire Higher Education Reform - further consultation measure is estimated to achieve savings of $2 billion over five years from 2015-16 in fiscal balance terms, but cost $596.7 million over five years from 2015-16 in underlying cash balance terms. The $2b billion savings in fiscal balance terms includes the decision to not proceed with the deregulation of university fees announced in the 2014-15 Budget measure titled Expanding Opportunity - expansion of the demand driven system, and sharing the cost fairly.