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Letters to the Editor

From time to time, a commentary on the world will bubble up inside of me to the extent that I'm forced to write a letter to my local, metropolitan, daily newspaper, The Age. This is where I blow of some steam. Feel like venting too? Add your own comment or visit my homepage.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Fear About HECS Isn't Helping

In my frequent encounters with student politicians, I only ever hear one response to the question of paying for academics: tax the rich. Well, guess what! That's exactly what HECS does. Graduates pay a modestly higher rate of tax (typically just a few percent) once they start earning around the average income. If their income falls below the threshold - like when they're backpacking across Asia - the repayments stop. And at no penalty since the loan is (in real terms) interest free.

I worry that young people are frightened out of taking up this great deal because of misinformation about "crippling debt" from well-intentioned politicians and activists scoring political points. Running a scare campaign is no way to effect change in public policy.



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