TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION AND TRAINING
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY
LINDA BURNEY MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FAMILIES AND SOCIAL SERVICES
MEMBER FOR BARTON
LABOR CALLS FOR CASE-BY-CASE EXEMPTIONS TO YOUTH ALLOWANCE PARENTAL INCOME TEST DURING COVID-19
There are concerns that many tertiary students will miss out on Youth Allowance during COVID-19 and will be unable to afford to continue their studies.
Many full time students rely on part time or casual jobs to support themselves through their studies.
However, as businesses lay off staff or reduce hours as part of the public health response to COVID-19, many students are concerned it may no longer be financially viable for them to continue their studies.
Youth Allowance is currently available to tertiary students – aged between 18 and 24 – studying full time.
But students aged under 22 years are still considered dependent, even if they live away from home or in another city.
As a dependent, the government will assess their parents’ income as part of the means test.
The parental income test begins at $54,677 – and reduces the Youth Allowance by 20 cents for every dollar over this amount.
Many students – especially first year students – cannot access the JobKeeper wage subsidy because they haven’t worked more than 12 months in their jobs.
Local federal members of parliament have been contacted by students saying they can no longer afford to study because they’ve either lost their part time job or had hours significantly reduced.
Labor is calling on the government to temporarily introduce exemptions to the parental income test for Youth Allowance, to be applied on a case-by-case basis for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Labor secured a crucial amendment to the government’s economic response to COVID-19 by enabling the government to unilaterally adjust social security rules to expand eligibility of income support payments.
These are not ordinary times and what we don’t want to see is students discontinuing tertiary studies because they can’t afford to.
TUESDAY, 5 MAY 2020