As Rebekha Sharkie (NXT – Mayo) signalled yesterday she was amenable to supporting the government’s student loan legislation if the government ended the proposed lifetime cap on study debt. It did and so she did, voting with the coalition to pass the bill through the House of Representatives yesterday. Students who reach borrowing ceilings of $104 ooo for degrees ex medicine, VET and dentistry, for which the cap is $150 000, will now be able to take on more debt as they pay previous borrowings down. The government also has its procedural ducks in a row in the Senate and is ready to bring the bill on there, perhaps today.
With Labor and the Greens solid against the bill the government will need wide cross-bench support in the upper house but this seems likely, given Education Minister Birmingham can point to a concession (to three Liberal senators) on the lifetime cap, which will not exclude people from retraining.