The National Union of Students is relieved to see the Youth Allowance saga is now over and the changes passed through the Parliament. NUS has been campaigning for 5 years to reform what was a broken system under the previous Government.
“The foundations for a fairer system have been created today by the Australian Parliament, where students who most need government support while studying will have access to it first,” said Carla Drakeford, President of the National Union of Students.
“NUS has been pushing for reforms to be made to the Youth Allowance system for the past 5 years, and reform to Austudy before that. We will now have a system where students can earn more before their payment is cut, where means testing is increased so more low SES students can get support and the Age of Independence is being lowered,” she said.
“It is still a budget neutral package. The increase in the parental income threshold was a good start, but student whose families earn a combined $55,000 per annum should not be penalized with tapered payments. It is difficult for middle income families to support students while they study, and the threshold should reflect this,” she said.
“More work needs to be done to help rural students. NUS would like to see a commitment to review the changes that have been made for regional and rural students to make sure that it is a fair system which has been implemented,” she said.