Pic source: ncsehe.edu.au
BY Kate Thorburn
COUNTRY students considered asset-rich but cash-poor are able to access youth allowance for the first time, after the eligibility test for the financial assistance program was loosened.
A bill was passed in Canberra last week excluding farms and trusts from the eligibility test for youth allowance, which assists full-time students aged between 16 and 24 cover rent and other living costs.
The change is set to benefit more than 4000 students in rural and remote Australia who were previously unable to access the allowance because their farm was considered too valuable.
Nationals Senator for Victoria Bridget McKenzie welcomed the news, labelling the previous system “completely illogical”.
“Applying the Family Assets Test to farms and trusts is unfair and has for too long disadvantaged students from farming families,” Senator McKenzie said.
“Treating the family farm as income is completely illogical and while many of our farming families have significant assets on paper, this does not translate to their bank balance.”