Driving home last night I tuned into 2GB to see what the crazy people were thinking. Steve Price was running a propaganda blitz on how brilliant the LNP HECS changes are, largely focused on how protesting Uni students are lazy bludgers sponging off hard working tradies and TEH TAXPEARZ!!!!11!!
Price was beautifully suckered by Orlando from East Dubbo* (from 24:39 on the audio) who rang in and said he was doing an MBA on-line from a private institution in Adelaide which was costing him $18,000 but said he was amazed when the UNSW quoted him $90,000 for the same workload. WHY ? Steve Price was non-plussed at the grotesque overcharge.
Steve’s in-studio expert quickly chimed in to ‘splain. Orlando’s institution is a private education provider which does not qualify for inclusion in the HECS system. UNSW is a HECS provider and charges $90,000 simply because ‘they can…supply and demand’. UNSW run a popular course and can accordingly by the power of market forces charge 5 times as much. On-air expert was starry eyed at how Joe Hockey’s brave new HECS would be MUCH SIMPLER because now both courses would be accessible through HECS and both would qualify for 45% Govt. contribution. This being the case we now have a before and after scenario for Orlando’s degree:
SCENARIO A: IDIOTIC LABOR HECS
Total Cost: 18000
Upfront Cost Borne By Taxpearz: 0
SCENARIO B: BRAVE NEW JOE HOCKEY HECS
Total Cost: 18000
Upfront Cost Borne By Taxpearz: 8100
So sainted TAXPEARZ PAY MOAR under the LNP scheme.
And obviously should any existing course blow out to 5 times current levels in brave new degregulated LNP HECS, TAXPEARZ are footing the BIGR BILZ AGEN. That’d be 40500 – 8100 = 32400 a pop under Orlando’s example.
Steve Price just let the horror of unregulated market forces pass unremarked. Sweet.
(Also more upfront public debt load under Coalition not v. important)
* Orlando from East Dubbo is really Jeff From Western Sydney. I just jazzed the name up a bit.