Ms LE (Fowler) (14:16): My question is to the Treasurer. University students across the country will be forced to pay an additional seven per cent on top of their already exorbitant HECS debt. This will impact young people who are already struggling to study, work and pay rent while facing some of the worst economic challenges we’ve had in a long time. Young people are our future and deserve fair and equitable access to education. What will the government do to ease their debt pressure with your budget surplus?

Dr CHALMERS (Rankin—Treasurer) (14:17): Thanks very much to the member for Fowler for her question about a really important topic. Obviously, the indexation of student loans has not been changed by this government. These are the usual arrangements that apply. What has changed is the way that we are supporting students in the budget that we handed down on Tuesday night. We are supporting them with Austudy, supporting them with youth allowance and supporting them with Commonwealth rent assistance—all of the different ways that the budget proudly spoke to Australians who are doing it tough, including young people, students and people who are genuinely under the pump. What we tried to do in the budget on Tuesday night was say to all of those Australians who are doing it tough and to all of those Australians under the pump, including young people and including students, that we will do what we can to help you. We’ll do that in a responsible and methodical way which weighs up all of the pressures on the budget and in the economy.

This side of the House is proud to back in our young people and proud to back in our students. The way that we fund the education system and provide cost-of-living relief where we can is a really important demonstration of our support for young people and students.