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Thursday, 3 May 1984
Page: 1564

(Question No. 729)

Senator Watson asked the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs, upon notice, on 8 March 1984:

Is the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs aware that the Tasmanian State Government is operating an accommodation allowance for tertiary education students amounting to $900 per annum (30 weeks at $30), while those students receiving tertiary education assistance scheme allowance either full or any part thereof receive only $500 per annum because of a regulation contained in the TEAS guidelines stipulating that even where a student may earn up to $2000 per annum, no more than $500 per annum must come from other allowances: If so, has the Minister any plans to correct this anomalous and inequitable situation which discriminates unduly against low income families who are struggling to send their children through tertiary education.

Senator Ryan —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

TEAS is an income-tested scheme. It is not unreasonable therefore that in determining the level of TEAS entitlement regard should be had to other income available to a student, particularly when that income is in the form of an allowance provided by another agency broadly for the same purposes as TEAS. This along with other aspects of the income test is a matter which is kept under regular review. However it must be realised that to abolish the existing TEAS conditions governing income from other allowances or to raise the threshold would add to the costs of the scheme. This means therefore that the timing of any change must be determined in the context of the availability of funds and the priorities established for their expenditure.