Services Australia has announced a rate increase for those currently receiving both Youth Allowance and Austudy payments that will mean a $40 base rate rise per fortnight from September 20.
Westpac Banker, Alannah Powell said access to financial support has become difficult, and is impacting university age students. This has led many students to question the allowance and what it could mean for them in the long run.
“The higher costs of living, as well as difficult access to financial support is something that forces students to work more hours in order to make ends meet,” Miss Powell said.
“A lot of these young people are forced to work more hours in part-time jobs just to support themselves, which can hurt their university grades in the long-term.”
This comes amongst the current crisis in the cost of living, which has had significant impacts on financial investments and necessities. The rate rises have affected a wide range of necessary services; including accommodation availability, petrol prices, grocery prices and most other financial aspects of life. The increase has been introduced in hopes of easing the financial burden by providing extra support to Australian students.
Conservation Biology student Caitlin Farrugia, 19, said she was struggling to make ends meet with the current allowance.
“Last Wednesday I spent $100 on petrol, and today I spent $106,” she said.
Miss Farrugia explained that while the extra $40 increase to base-payments is helpful, she believes that a different approach to the payment method would be more beneficial.
Currently, students are able to receive their support payments and work at the same time, but if they earn over $430 per fortnight, the payment decreases.
“I think youth allowance should just be extra support for students, we should be able to earn as much as we want from working without running the risk of losing that support,” she said.
“But I can’t earn too much, or my youth allowance gets taken away from me.
“People want to work.”
The increase will begin from September 20 and will hopefully provide students with some financial leeway amongst difficult living conditions.