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VET Student Loans (Charges) Bill 2016

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2016

 

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VET STUDENT LOANS (CHARGES) BILL 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by the authority of the Minister for Education and Training, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham)



VET STUDENT LOANS (CHARGES) BILL 2016

 

 

OUTLINE

 

The VET Student Loans (Charges) Bill 2016 (the Charges Bill) is a Bill to impose a charge on approved course providers. The Charges Bill is part of a package of legislation to reform the student loan arrangements for vocational education and training (VET) courses. The other Bills in the reform package are the VET Student Loans Bill 2016 (the VET Student Loans Bill) and the VET Student Loans (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2016.

 

The Charges Bill provides for an approved course provider charge to be imposed on approved course providers as a tax. Approved course providers are those providers approved in accordance with the VET Student Loans Bill. Only students enrolled in a course with an approved course provider are eligible for VET student loans.

 

The amount of the approved course provider charge will be an amount prescribed by the regulations or as worked out in accordance with the manner prescribed by the regulations.

 

The Charges Bill imposes the charge on providers to fund the VET student loan program including the costs incurred by the Commonwealth in administering the program, data collection and analysis as well as compliance and enforcement activities.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT

 

The financial impact of the VET student loans program is set out in the Explanatory Memorandum for the VET Student Loans Bill 2016 .

 

The amount of the approved course provider charge will be specified in the regulations.  It is anticipated the amount of the charge will differ depending on the size of the provider, recognising the lower resourcing required to assess and monitor the compliance of smaller providers. Prior to the introduction of the regulations, a fees schedule will be determined that is consistent with the Australian Government Cost Recovery Guidelines and documented in a cost recovery implementation statement (CRIS).



 

REGULATION IMPACT STATEMENT

 

 

The Regulation Impact Statement for the Government’s VET student loans program appears in the Explanatory Memorandum for the VET Student Loans Bill 2016 .

 



 

 

STATEMENT OF COMPATIBILITY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS

 

 

Prepared in accordance with Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011

 

VET STUDENT LOANS (CHARGES) BILL 2016

 

 

This Bill is compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011 .

 

Overview of the Bill

 

The VET Student Loans (Charges) Bill 2016 (the Charges Bill) is a Bill to impose a charge on approved course providers. The Charges Bill is part of a package of legislation to reform the student loan arrangements for vocational education and training (VET) courses. The other Bills in the reform package are the VET Student Loans Bill 2016 (the VET Student Loans Bill) and the VET Student Loans (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2016.

 

The Charges Bill provides for an approved course provider charge to be imposed on approved course providers as a tax. Approved course providers are those providers approved in accordance with the VET Student Loans Bill. Only students enrolled in a course with an approved course provider are eligible for VET student loans.

 

Human Rights Implications

 

The Bill in isolation does not engage any of the applicable rights or freedoms. It provides for an approved course provider charge to be imposed on approved course providers as a tax.   This Bill is necessary to give effect to the Government’s reforms to the vocational education and training (VET) student loan arrangements.  The principal reforms are set out in the VET Student Loans Bill 2016 .  A Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights in relation to the reforms is attached to the Explanatory Memorandum for that Bill.

 

Conclusion

 

This Bill is compatible with human rights because it does not, in itself, raise any human rights issues.

 

 

Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, Minister for Education and Training



VET STUDENT LOANS (CHARGES) BILL 2016

 

NOTES ON CLAUSES

 

Clause 1 - Short title

 

This clause provides for the short title of the Act to be the VET Student Loans (Charges) Act 2016 .

 

Clause 2 - Commencement

 

The table in this clause specifies that the whole of the VET Student Loans (Charges) Bill 2016 (the Bill), once enacted, commences on 1 January 2017. This date is in conjunction with the commencement date of the VET Student Loans Bill 2016.

 

Clause 3 - Definitions

 

This clause contains definitions of the terms and expressions used in the Bill as follows: 

 

amount is defined toinclude a nil amount. This allows for situations where the amount of the approved course provider charge may be nil.

 

approved course provider is defined as having the same meaning as in the VET Student Loans Bill 2016.

 

approved course provider charge is defined by reference to clause 6 as being the charge imposed under that clause. 

 

property of any kind belonging to a State is defined as having the same meaning as in section 114 of the Constitution. This provision prohibits the Commonwealth imposing any tax on the property of any kind belong to a State.

 

Clause 4 - Crown to be bound

 

This clause provides that the Bill binds the Crown in each of its capacities.

 

Clause 5 - Act does not impose tax on property of a State

 

This clause provides that the Bill does impose a tax on property of any kind belonging to a State. This provision ensures the Bill does not contravene section 114 of the Constitution, which prohibits the Commonwealth imposing any tax on the property of any kind belonging to a State.

 

Clause 6 - Imposition of charge

 

This clause provides that an approved course provider charge is imposed on approved course providers as a tax.

 

Clause 7 - Amount of charge

 

This clause provides that the amount of the approved course provider charge payable by an approved course provider is the amount prescribed by the regulations or worked out in accordance with a method prescribed by the regulations.

 

It is anticipated the amount of the charge will be determined having regard to the size of the provider.  This recognises the lower resourcing required to administer and monitor a small provider’s compliance with the VET student loans program.

 

Prior to the introduction of the regulations, a fees schedule will be determined that is consistent with the Australian Government Cost Recovery Guidelines and documented in a cost recovery implementation statement (CRIS).

 

Clause 8 - Exemptions from charge

 

This clause enables the regulations to provide for exemptions for approved course providers from having to pay the approved course provider charge.

 

Clause 9 - Regulations

 

This clause provides that the Governor-General may make regulations prescribing matters that are required or permitted by this Bill to be prescribed or are necessary or convenient to be prescribed in order to carry out or give effect to this Bill.