Re: No HELP* debt for the PM's daughter, I guess.
HELP (previously HECS) is not a tax.
I am left of centre in my views and believe that many services should be provided to all people through tax-funded institutions.
The idea, however, that University should be provided in the same manner as public primary and secondary education just doesn't sit well with me.
The idea is that everyone should have an equal chance to pursue the career of their choice. This is what the public school system and HELP/HECS is for. The schooling provides for people from all socio-economic backgrounds to get a comprehensive education and a have a fair chance and being accepted into the university course of their choosing. HELP/HECS then allows them to do their degree without having to worry about where the money is going to come from. We also help them get to and from uni with subsidised public transport as well as assist with living allowances.
Yes, making your own way through university can be difficult and yes, the loan is big and repaying it takes time but that is the price that you pay and if you apply yourself then the pay-off is a better career with higher earning potential.
There is something fundamentally unfair about asking someone to help fund another person's degree when that degree will result in the recipient earning more money than the person being asked to pay for it.
If everyone went to university then it would be fairer, but still far from great as many people do cheaper degrees and there can be a vast disparity between wages of the resulting careers. Why should someone who studied social work or nursing and subsequently works in the public health system for mediocre wages be asked to help pay for someone doing a law degree who will end up earning several multiples of the social worker's salary?
In reality, it's even less fair as plenty of people don't want to go to university. Some want to learn a trade and some want to pursue other options - perhaps music - and still others just simply don't manage to get entrance into what they want to do and so choose to enter the workforce rather than sit through 3 or 4 years of a course that really doesn't interest them.
Why should that person have to pay for those who did manage to get into the course they wanted? Worse, what about all those people who are doing courses they didn't really want and may drop out of or change part-way through. I know 2 people who spent ~8 years at university dicking around with various arts courses. Should someone who left school at 16 to work in the family business have to pay for a young adult who just doesn't know what they want to do with their life?