The latest PBO analysis on the Higher Education Loan Programme highlights that Labor’s poorly-executed policies will hit taxpayers with a bill worth more than $4.9 billion per year.

We know that Labor and their higher education spokesman Kim Carr aren’t good on detail, but today’s analysis from the PBO confirms that Labor sought to mislead Australians about the original PBO report.

The Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) today confirmed that the Abbott-Turnbull Government’s reckless plan to introduce $100,000 degrees will see the annual cost of HELP loans blow out to $11.1 billion by 2025–26.
– Kim Carr, Media Release, 6/4/16

As the original PBO report pointed out earlier this month, “The size of the HELP portfolio grew strongly over the past decade largely driven by increasing numbers of students taking out HELP loans. This reflected policy decisions to introduce a demand-driven funding system for university education and to provide HELP loans for VET.”

Today’s PBO analysis shows that more than $80 in every $100 above the baseline that is being funnelled into higher education loans is attributable to the hap-hazard ways Labor rolled out their policies. 

Labor expanded the VET FEE-HELP scheme with disastrous consequences and uncapped the number of university places without any coherent strategy to ensure students and universities made wise enrolment decisions.

Since 2009, with the demand driven system, taxpayer funding for Commonwealth supported places in higher education has increased by 59 per cent as compared to 29 per cent growth in nominal GDP over the same period of time. Funding of university students has, essentially, grown at twice the rate of the economy.

As I continue to consult with the sector, experts and students, I am focussed on ensuring student and university funding is sustainable, equitable access to uni is guaranteed, up-front fees are avoided and Labor’s VET FEE-HELP scheme is replaced with something credible.