A new tax on universities is one step closer after a plan to rake in an extra $11 million over four years passed the lower house of federal parliament with bipartisan support.
AAP reports, draft laws to implement the annual charge on universities passed through the House of Representatives on Wednesday.
However, Labor MP Patrick Gorman admitted it made him uncomfortable, as he’s a strong advocate for free higher education.
Ultimately, only three crossbenchers – Helen Haines, Andrew Wilkie, and Adam Bandt – voted against the bill.
The legislation is now on its way to the Senate.
The annual fee applies to higher education providers whose students are entitled to government loans for tuition costs.
The government says the tax will help fund the Higher Education Loans Program, including administration costs, data collection, analysis and compliance.
Government minister David Littleproud said it was a responsible measure that would ensure the sustainability of the university sector.
The draft laws don’t set the amount universities will be charged, which will be determined in a separate bill.
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