Greens Oppose Abbott’s plan to privatise HECS debt

MEDIA COMMENT: Greens Oppose Abbott’s plan to privatise HECS debt

16th October 2013

Responding to reports today that the Coalition government is investigating options to privatise $23 billion worth of HECS debt (http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/business/a/-/business/19408705/libs-to-clear-23b-hecs-debt/), Greens spokesperson for higher education Senator Lee Rhiannon said:

“The Greens are strongly opposed to any proposals to privatise the debt of university students.

 “Shifting the ownership of debt into private hands creates perverse incentives to increase student debt in the long term. The private sector isn’t lobbying for this change out of the goodness of their hearts. They’ve looked at the United States, are keen to replicate that model here – where the private sector profits from student debt.

“Total student debt in the United States is over $1 trillion dollars. HECS debt in Australia is already projected to double to $42.1 billion by 2016-17.

“This is likely to increase even further due to the Coalition’s plan to slash Start Up Scholarships – adding thousands of dollars to the debt of low income students.

 

Media: 0487 350 880