OUR SAY: It’s too easy to target our youth
LAST week the Minister for Education Simon Birmingham announced that he wanted to drop the income threshold for paying off HECS and Higher Education Loan Programme or HELP debt from approximately $54,000 to $42,000 a year.
In my new graduate position, I earn a little over Mr Birmingham's proposed threshold. In other words, I finished university last year, and I already earn over $42,000. But only just over.
While I live in the country, where my expenses are not that high, what would it be like if I worked in one of the major cities in Australia?
My income works out to be around $750 a week after tax. I rent a unit, I have a car that currently needs servicing, I have debt, and on top of that, I must provide for myself. I don't have the income to splurge on a few luxuries, let alone pay off my university debt. I'm not the only recent graduate in this position either.
Ultimately, dropping the tax threshold for paying off HECS or HELP debt would cripple some graduates who are already paying through their teeth just to survive while working their first jobs.
If the Federal Government's continuous barrage of legislation aimed at saving money continues to target youth and young adults, how are we expected to get the start in life they seem to expect is possible?
I'm all for paying my contribution, but I am beginning to understand how my mum felt when I continuously asked her for money as a teenager.