Release type: Media Release

Date:

Record numbers of students receiving Youth Allowance

Ministers:

Senator the Hon Chris Evans
Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations

A record number of Australian students are now receiving Youth Allowance as a result of sweeping reforms to the student income support system.

The reforms created a fairer and more generous system and close to 200,000 students are now benefiting from these changes.

In March last year, the Coalition backed a raft of important changes to student income support in order to create a fairer, more equitable and better targeted system.

These reforms mean an additional 54,000 students now receive the maximum rate of Youth Allowance, a higher rate of Youth Allowance, or even a payment of Youth Allowance for the first time.

No longer are many students from low income backgrounds, including those from rural and regional communities, denied the support they need.

The Government’s reforms have provided the assistance essential for encouraging and enabling students from low income families to participate in higher education.

The Coalition’s cynical attempt to paint these reforms as a ‘cut’ to Youth Allowance is dishonest and misleading.

In framing the reforms to student income support, the Government responded to the recommendation of the Bradley Review for a fairer, more equitable and better targeted system of student income support.

As a result of the Government’s reforms to student income support:

  • around54,000 additional studentsnow receive the maximum rate of Youth Allowance, a higher rate of Youth Allowance, or even a of payment of Youth Allowance for the first time.
  • the Parental Income Test threshold was increased from $33,300 to $44,165, and a 20 per cent family taper was introduced.Over 100,000 students will benefitfrom this increase because more young people will be eligible for Youth Allowance as dependents, and many students who previously considered it necessary to gain eligibility as independents will no longer need to do so.
  • students will be allowed to earn more money through part-time work before their payments are affected.
  • more than5,200 students have achieved independence since 1 April 2010 as a result of the age of independence being lowered from 25 to 23 years.
  • more than190,000 additional students now receive scholarships towards their education costs. These scholarships are worth $2,194 in 2011.
  • more than25,000 additional students now receive scholarships towards their accommodation costs. These scholarships are worth $4,124 in 2011 for first year students.