Over 2,300 students from regional and remote Australia are set to benefit from changes to Youth Allowance from 1 January 2019.
The Parliament today passed legislation that will make it easier for students from regional and remote Australia to access Youth Allowance when they move away from home to study.
The Government is increasing the parental income cut-off from $150,000 to $160,000 for the Youth Allowance workforce independence criteria for regional students. This cut-off will increase by $10,000 for each additional child in the family.
Minister for Families and Social Services Paul Fletcher said the $53.9 million investment would improve educational outcomes for regional students.
“The Morrison Government recognises the barriers regional, rural and remote students face when it comes to accessing higher education and that is why we are making it easier for these students to get financial assistance to further their education,” Mr Fletcher said.
“These important changes will enable 2,300 more students from regional and remote Australia to qualify for Youth Allowance or receive a higher rate of payment.”
Minister for Education Dan Tehan said young people in regional areas face extra challenges when it comes to accessing tertiary education.
“Accommodation and transport costs are a major issue for families with children who have to move away from home to study, and one that hits the hip pocket,” Mr Tehan said.
“By removing such barriers to education we are ensuring they have a bright future ahead of them.”
Deputy Leader of the Nationals Bridget McKenzie said the Government recognised the extra costs of raising larger families.
“Your location shouldn’t dictate the education you can access,” Senator McKenzie said.
“For a family with two children the cut-off will be $170,000 and for a family with three children the cut-off will be $180,000.
“So students with parents earning around $80,000 each may be able to still meet the independence criteria and therefore be eligible for Youth Allowance, or not have it reduced by their parents’ income, once they have earned the required amount.”
More information on the change is available on the Department of Social Services website.